4 ways to make social media more accessible

keyboard with handicap sign on it. Source: shutterstock

Social media is important to a lot of people, its a method of gathering information on things that people care about. That includes people with visual impairments. Making things accessible is becoming a legal obligation too. A 2010 WHO (World Health Organization) report states that there were 285 million people in the world who were visually impaired. [1] Now that is a lot of people who are potentially missing out on your content. Some social media platforms have got you covered but when you don’t know its better to be safe than sorry. Here are four ways to improve your content by making it more accessible.

  1. Use alternative text for content (images, video captioning)
    Describe your content as if you were describing a photo to someone.
    Use Youtube captioning services for videos on platforms that offer it (Facebook).
    Have text that adds more context to the photo below.
  2. Avoid Acronyms
    Yes acronyms make sense on twitter due to the space limit but it can be confusing for a text-reader
  3. Color contrast
    How you see color is not the same way that others may see it. Using color and pattern can help someone differentiate content.

    Use these two rules :
    • Never use color alone to show emphasis
    • Make sure your colors have strong contrasts between them
  4. Use camel case
    This is especially important on twitter with hashtags camel case is capitalizing the first letter of each word #MakeSocialMediaAccessible

Now this is a good start but there is a lot more to learn. If you want to read more you can go to the bottom for more info.

Try using WAVE (Web accessibility evaluation tool) on your favorite social media site and expand on the results and how the social media platform can improve? (It has issues working on chrome but it works fine on firefox)

is social media accessible?

accessible social media (University of Michigan)

Citation :

[1]World Health Organization global data on visual impairment 2010 (page 5, table 2)

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