Related resources

Use these resources to better understand how to incorporate the recommendations from the style guide into your materials. Also see the introduction of the guide for helpful tips.

Practice exercises

Download the practice exercises, available in either a Word Document or PDF, to work through examples.

Training video

This 8-minute training video will help you start using the guide for your work.  

The transcript is below.

Manny Morone: Hi all, and welcome to the ACS Inclusivity Style Guide training video. First off, thanks for tuning in, because communicating in an inclusive way isn't something that just happens. It's something that we work toward together. And the fact that you're watching this means that you're taking a step toward that goal.

So what is the guide, and why should you use it? Style guides are commonly used in journalism and in the publication space. These keep all content creators on the same page in terms of fonts, reference styles, or formatting used for a particular context or audience. Now the Inclusivity Style Guide provides a set of standards too—standards specifically for inclusive communication. Before and during your content creation process, you can read through or review the guidance in relevant sections for communicating in an inclusive way.

Why should you use the guide? While many inclusive style guides exist, we wanted to create one that equipped our staff, our members, and our governance volunteers with clear examples, ample references, and detailed explanations and rationales. The creation and distribution of this guide affirms ACS's commitment to and core value of diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect specifically by creating a space that is truly welcoming to all regardless of background.

By following this guidance, you'll be able to broaden the audience of your materials. And one of the best places to convey an inclusive culture is through a communication with each other and to the broader public. Now let's get into how you access the guide. In the near term, we'll provide ACS staff and ACS governance with the link that they can bookmark and will allow them to access the guide. We've also set up a short URL, www.acs.org/inclusivityguide to make the address easy to remember. Of course the guide will be added to Nucleus and iConnect. In the long term, once we roll out the guide to all ACS members, we'll put a link under the diversity section of acs.org, which you can access through www.acs.org/about.

Racquel Jemison (01:55): Now that you've seen how to access the guide, let's take you onto the web page for a closer look. The ACS Inclusivity Style Guide was designed as an interactive web page, and there are three ways to navigate the guide in its entirety. The first is with the "Get Started" button at the very top. This will take you to the introduction and then through each section from there, in order.

The second option is to just navigate from the home page. You can scroll down to find each of the sections in bold and its subsections in the tiles to the right. If you click on any one of those tiles, it'll take you directly to that section of the guide to find more information.

The third option is to use this left-hand panel, which summarizes each of the sections that you'll be able to find in the guide and clicking on any of them will expand it to show each of those subsections that you can quickly navigate to from there.

Let's take a closer look with our general guidelines and avoid labeling people by a characteristic. You'll first see some background information, which will give you some additional context and explain what this specific guideline means or generally refers to. The recommendation that follows informs you on how you can structure your language or make content decisions. You'll also see that most entries have at least one or two examples of what you can use and what you should avoid. Throughout the guide, you might notice some hyperlinks that will take you out to the original reference material that we used to create the guide. And of course, at the end of each section, you'll be able to find a full list of all of the resources that were used to create the section.

Communicating inclusively is ideally incorporated into your everyday interactions here at ACS. The style guide can come in handy when sending emails (either to one person or a hundred), creating newsletters, posters, applications, and forms, website content, advertisements, even social media posts, and more. To best use the guide, we recommend familiarizing yourself with it at least once by taking a look through the various sections and thinking about how it might impact or change some of your own content or other content that you've seen in the past. In the future, as any of your content mentions one or more of the topics covered in the guide, refer to it as a quick check once you've finished your project, or to help you if you get stuck.

Kierra Tobiere (04:24): To help you practice using the guide, we created examples of texts and images that could be more inclusive. You can find these at acs.org/inclusivityguide. Staff can also find these on Nucleus in the DEIR section. The text examples ask you to read the original and identify the noninclusive elements. The next page explains what was not inclusive. And the third page offers an alternative that is more inclusive. The image examples ask you to choose between two images, and an explanation of the correct choice follows.

Time to practice! Here is a sentence from one of the practice exercises. "Ava volunteered to man the phone line while Bob is out." First, try to use the Inclusivity Style Guide to identify what could be more inclusive in the sentence. Then check your work with the explanation in the practice exercise. Here, we explain that "man" should be changed to a gender-neutral term so that people of all genders feel included. An alternative version that is more inclusive is "Ava volunteered to staff the phone while Bob is out."

Here is an example of two images. Use the Inclusivity Style Guide to identify which one is the better choice. Then compare your answer with the one in the practice exercise. In this example, the image that shows a greater range of skin tones is better, is a better choice because it shows a greater diversity of people, which makes more people in the audience feel recognized and accepted.

Sabrina Ashwell (05:51): Where to go for help. We recommend exploring or reading through the guide to familiarize yourself with the content and referring to specific sections as needed for reminders or to review your content before finalizing. We have some Q&A sessions in December: 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. eastern on December 14, and 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. eastern on December 15. Go to the link shown here [bit.ly/ACS_ISG_Session1 or bit.ly/ACS_ISG_Session2] to sign up. We'll have more sessions in 2022.

We understand the benefit in having some additional resources and shortcuts. If you'd like support or have questions, consider first going through the references used throughout the guide for additional context. You can also reach out to your division representative on the Council of DEIR for additional help. And lastly, we have inclusivity guide tip sheets that you can download from the website or obtain physical copies of to serve as quick general reminders. We recommend posting them in your work space.

Lastly, we welcome feedback from you as a user of the inclusivity guide. We plan for the guide to be a living document, and ideas for updates will in part come from users like all of you. You can email the inclusivity guide team at ISG@acs.org or use the black feedback button that appears on the side of any of the guide's web pages. It looks like that button I have on the side of this slide.

All feedback will be taken seriously and considered. We'll update the guide as needed to incorporate new and revised information. Our target is to make updates a few times per year. Thank you for watching this video. Creating an inclusive ACS for our members and colleagues starts with each one of us, and using inclusive language is one step along that journey.

Topics to come

Topics under development
Data visualization
Sizeism

Additional topics under consideration
Cultural appropriation in images
Email and social media
Glossary
How to respond when you make a mistake
Intersectionality
Religion
Sentence structure and content framing