Accessible Social Media
Social media platforms raise some access issues for individuals with disabilities. Although accessibility on social media sites is limited in a lot of ways, some features do exist in each platform. Learn some practical ways you can make your posts more inclusive.
Use Plain Language
Acronyms and abbreviations are everywhere, especially at the university. Consider spelling out acronyms and abbreviations where possible. Avoid jargon, academic language, and insensitive language. This not only increases the cognitive accessibility of your posts, but creates a more welcoming and inclusive tone for your followers.
Use CamelCase for your hashtag information so it can be read by screen readers.
Use Image Descriptions
Twitter mobile and web applications allow you to add descriptions to your images before you post them. So do Instagram and LinkedIn. Facebook and Instagram allow you to edit image descriptions after you post. When you can’t describe using alt text, include the image description in the post itself. Remember, text in images can’t be read by a screen reader.
It is advised to also place your image description at the bottom of your post as well at the alt text because some screen reader software have trouble with alt text in Instagram.
Captioning and Audio
Make sure the videos you’re linking to are captioned. If you’re creating your own videos, make sure to caption them before posting. It’s super easy! And if you really want to go the extra mile for accessibility, include audio descriptions for your video. Or better yet, when you create your video, make sure there are no elements in the video that require visual-only input. For example, read aloud any text in your video. Planning ahead is always better than retrofitting.
- Adding Captions to YouTube Videos from Google
- Adding Captions to Vimeo Videos from Vimeo
- Adding Captions to Facebook Videos from Facebook
- Subtitles now available in iOS and Android from Twitter
- Adding Closed Captioning to Videos on LinkedIn from LinkedIn
For more information see United States Government guidelines.
Liam O'Dell on how to caption social media.