A comment on accessibility blindness

The recent ‘services for business’ campaign from the RNIB really caught my attention. Not because it says something new, but because it says something old. Very old.

Cataracts didn’t stop me ordering a meat feast. Your menu did. With some simple changes your business could have 2 million more customers. RNIB. See differently.
Cataracts didn’t stop me ordering a meat feast. Your menu did. With some simple changes your business could have 2 million more customers. RNIB. See differently.
RNIB campaign, highlighting that inaccessible print loses businesses in the UK up to two million customers

Designing for designers

For too long, designers have designed for themselves. Not for those who use the designs they create. I know because I was one of them once. I chose typefaces that worked for my design, type sizes that worked for my design (the smaller, the better), colours that worked for my design, images that worked for my design, and layouts that worked for my design. …


A personal mission

It’s almost six years since I took the stage at The Email Design Conference, 2015, in London, and challenged the email marketing industry to implement ‘A Type of Accessibility’ into their email campaigns — at a time when accessibility in email was talked about, but not implemented.

‘A Type of Accessibility’. My talk at The Email Design Conference, 2015.
‘A Type of Accessibility’. My talk at The Email Design Conference, 2015.
‘A Type of Accessibility’. My talk at The Email Design Conference, 2015.

It’s been exciting to see, how since that day, the industry has embraced accessibility, with organisations like Litmus and Email on Acid, and individuals like Mark Robbins and Elliot Ross, contributing to the conversation and making a difference.

What I covered in that first talk in 2015 is still relevant today. Along with other insights we’ve made as an industry, they remain the go-to implementations for accessibility in email. A logical code order. Live text, text alignment, text size (font-size) and text spacing (line-height). Colour use, colour contrast and ‘blue links’. Alternative text, alt attributes and semantic elements (using margin:0…


Epilim® — One to be taken twice a day.

In #EpilepsyWeek 2019, as someone who suffers with Epilepsy, I felt the need to share something of my story, to raise awareness of the condition, and be a voice for those who suffer with it far worse than I do.

Childhood memories

I was diagnosed as a child, after experiencing my first, (and sadly not my last), seizure, playing outside with my dad, in the sunshine, in our back garden. I lost consciousness, and landed on my chin, on the edge of our concrete patio. Bleeding, I was quickly rushed to hospital by my very concerned, and very confused parents.

After being stitched up, I spent a number of days in hospital, (which I recall being a bit of an adventure), while the medical staff conducted tests to understand what had happened to me that fine sunny evening. …


Creating accessible text links with border-bottom, padding-bottom and a few hacks

At Litmus Live, London, 2017, in my session, Accessibility in Action, I talked about some of the recent techniques I’d been implementing in my email, Type E:, to make it more accessible — constructing it with <div>s instead of <table>s (with fallbacks for Microsoft Outlook) — using HTML5 semantic elements to define sections of content, like the <header>, the <nav> and the <footer> — and using border-bottom instead of text-decoration on text links.

Accessibility in Action, Litmus Live, London, 2017

I started using border-bottom instead of text-decoration on text links to benefit people living with dyslexia, for whom underlining can cause text to run together, or collide.

Beyond the Envelope™

aka Paul Airy – follower of Jesus, husband, father, and Accessibility & Usability Consultant, with a particular fondness for typography. #EmailGeek

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