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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Accessible Campus-wide Emails

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This document is directed to University staff who have permission to send to campus-wide email distribution lists.

When sending information to email distribution lists (especially to all staff and to all students), you are responsible for making all parts of your message accessible to all recipients. Information that is not included in the email itself, but is linked from the email, must also be accessible. This is required by law.

The most common obstacles for individuals using visual assistive technology are text embedded in images and poorly structured documents. The most common obstacle for deaf or hard of hearing is lack of captioning in videos.

Simple ways to improve email accessibility for users of visual assistive technology:

  • Use plain text messages and avoid attachments.
  • If you must use attachments, properly structure and tag information in the attachment.
  • Never use text that is scanned or is part of a bitmap image, without providing the same information in a text format.

To test your message and attachments for basic accessibility, select (highlight) the text in your message, and copy-and-paste it into another document. If this works, your message can be processed by visual assistive technology.

Additional information and tutorials for improving accessibility of various file formats is available on the University of Wisconsin Web Accessibility for All website:

Ways to improve video accessibility for deaf and hard of hearing individuals:

  • If your message includes a video link, make sure the video is captioned.
  • If a captioned version of the video is not available, provide a written transcript of the video.
  • Transcripts can be imbedded into the video using specialized software available through Video Services within the Teaching and Technology Center.

If you have questions about sending a campus-wide email, please contact Ted Johnson at extension 2014, or send him your sample email.