By Teresa Goddard | Job Accommodation Network, Posted in 2013

Stack of business cards.

From the desk of Teresa Goddard, M.S., Lead Consultant – Assistive Technology Services

Are you networking effectively? If your business cards are not accessible, you could be missing out on customers and contacts. Standard business cards can be difficult for individuals with vision impairments to read. While some individuals may have assistive technology that they can use to access the information on standard business cards, it is also possible to make simple modifications to the cards themselves.

Some ideas for making business cards accessible include:

  • Use a sans serif font such as Arial. Simple, unembellished letters are easier to identify.
  • Use a larger font size for the most important information.
  • Use card stock that is matte rather than glossy to reduce problems with glare.
  • Make a large print version on the back of the card by printing the most important information in large, light print on a dark background.
  • Add Braille to some or all of your cards.
  • Add a QR (quick response) code with a link to an accessible Website that the reader can peruse using a mobile device such as a smart phone. At JAN, we have accessible QR codes on some of our marketing materials.

Some common design elements can actually make cards less readable for everyone, including readers with low vision. To increase overall readability, keep the following in mind:

  • Keep contrast in mind when selecting colors.
  • Limit use of italics and other decorative fonts.
  • Avoid using all uppercase letters, except for logos and standard acronyms.
  • Consider carrying both Brailled and non-Brailled cards. The textured surface of Brailled cards may be less readable for those who have reading disabilities or use OCR (optical character recognition) scanning to access information on cards.
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