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Top Access Tips to Pictures and Illustrations

Tips for making pictures and illustrations accessible to students with low vision

Bumble bee with good contrast


1.  Size of graphic

  • Present clear, well contrasting, simple large graphics.
  • Remove detail and visual clutter from graphic.
  • Add black outlines to shapes and main key features.
  • Remove complex colouring.
  • Use colours which provide good contrast.


2.  Captions

  • Present captions for images in a consistent way throughout the document so that the child knows where to find them.
  • Avoid overlaying text on a picture.
  • Present text in child’s preferred print, typeface (font) and typestyle (bold, plain format).



  • Present as line drawings, with thick black outlines.
  • Remove unnecessary clutter.
  • Make small details larger.
  • Remove complex colouring.
  • Use colours which provide good contrast.



frog on lily pad

  • Only use if simple and not too detailed.
  • Make sure the important part of the image is displayed clearly
  • Add black outlines to key features.
  • Contrast of the photograph needs to be sharp and clear
  • Provide written description of photograph to support understanding of key features.


Advice Point

  • At Primary/Secondary level, consider the additional value the picture/photograph/image adds.
  • Adapting pictures is time consuming and often used only briefly.
  • Equally, accessing graphical information can further add to the child’s visual fatigue.

General guidance: Think about only adapting if the graphic adds or explains something over and above that which is contained in the text.


For further Top Access Tips Sheets visit


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