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Making interpretation accessible for all

Providing equal access is a basic principle of good interpretation. It’s also a legal requirement to do so where practicable.

Make your interpretation more accessible by following the points below. Better yet, involve people with disabilities as you plan and develop the interpretation.

Text size and type

Using large point size text for graphics helps the more than 2 million people in the UK with sight loss. It’s also easier for everyone to read.

Minimum point sizes are:

  • 60pt for headlines
  • 48pt for introductory text on graphic panels
  • 24pt for body text on graphic panels
  • 12pt for text in publications and on websites

Avoid using italic, bold or all upper-case text, which are harder to read.

Text and background should contrast well in colour and brightness. Red-green colour blindness is the most common form, so avoid using these colours.

Use a text hierarchy for clarity, plus boxes and bullet points to add interest.

Images, audio and Braille

Pictures with simple captions often tell a story better than lengthy text, especially for people with learning difficulties.

Audio clips can be used alongside text, to enhance the story you’re telling. You can also use Braille or ‘talking labels’ that read text out loud.

Try to engage other senses too, particularly touch. Invite your audience to hold objects and feel tactile surfaces.

A virtual tour lets visitors with disabilities experience parts of a site that they couldn’t access otherwise.

Environment

Offer plenty of places to sit down. It helps people with walking difficulties and other mobility problems as well as anyone with tired legs and feet.

Fix panels and labels so that wheelchair users and wearers of bifocal glasses can read them. Consider the angle, distance and height for each item.

Keep labels to the front of display cases, and make sure the interior is well lit. Text and labels on reflective surfaces can be tricky to read.

Induction loops can be installed to help people with hearing loss. Counters should be split level, so that wheelchair users can use them just as easily.

Website accessibility

Your website should work with screen readers. These translate online text into speech or Braille (on a display) for blind or partially sighted users.