Accessibility Tools

4 Tips To Make Your Social Media Accounts More Accessible

4 Tips To Make Your Social Media Accounts More Accessible

Not only is it important for businesses and organisations to make their social media more accessible and inclusive, it’s also something we should practice ourselves on our personal channels.

Here are our top tips to make your social media more accessibility friendly….

1. Image Descriptions / Alt Descriptions

Using image descriptions or “alt text” is important for people who can’t see the images you post – those are blind might use a screen reader (a tool that reads out text) or may just want the image described.

So, what are image descriptions?

Image descriptions are typically short description in the body of text that accompanies an image of a social media channel. Carly Findlay explains this well and has an example on her blog.

What is alt text?

Alt text is a written description of an image or a visual asset. For users with screen readers, this means they can experience a visual post or get further clarity on what’s in an image or GIF.

Alt text is to the point but descriptive. There are options to add alt text on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

2. Limit Your Use of Emojis!

We love emojis, but use them sparingly! Emojis, when read out via a Screenreader can be confusing. As Sprout Social mentions, “using 🌴😎🍹💃🏼🎉 for the caption on your holiday pictures is may be fun. However, those using a screen reader would hear “Palm Tree, Smiling Face With Sunglasses, Tropical Drink, Woman Dancing: Medium-Light Skin Tone, Party Popper." Now, that doesn't make much sense, does it? Choose one emoji to accompany your post, and that's it!

3. Make Your Text Accessible

Make sure your sentences are clear and succinct. When in doubt, Hemingway is a great tool.

Hootsuite has several great tips:

Write in plain and succinct language: Avoid jargon, slang, or technical terms unless they are appropriate.

Don’t overuse caps: Full-caps (e.g. FULLCAPS) can be difficult to read and misinterpreted by screen readers.

Use camel case for multi-word hashtags. Capitalise the first letter of each word to make hashtags more legible. (e.g. #DisabilityServiceProvider, rather than #disabilityserviceprovider)

4. Language Matters

Words as powerful. The way we portray individuals with disabilities matters. Be respectful and balanced – and be accurate, neutral and objective.

  • Emphasize abilities, not limitations.
  • Ask individuals in your posts if they are willing to disclose their disability.
  • Refer to the individual first, their disability second.
  • Portray successful people with a disability in a balanced way, not as heroic or superhuman.
  • Do not use offensive or condescending language.

Use:

  • Person with a disability, people with disabilities
  • Man with paraplegia
  • Person with a learning disability
  • Student receiving special education services
  • A person of short stature or little person
  • Person who uses a wheelchair
  • Person who uses a communication device or an alternative method of communication
  • Accessible parking
  • Accessible restroom
  • People without disabilities

Don’t use:

  • Disabled person; the disabled
  • Paraplegic; paraplegic man
  • Slow learner
  • Special education student
  • Dwarf or midget
  • Wheelchair bound
  • Is non-verbal; can’t talk
  • Handicapped parking
  • Disabled restroom
  • Normal, able-bodied

For more tips on how to make your social media accounts more accessible, visit these great resources:

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