Social Media Accessibility

Social Media Accessibility

Many organizations are taking steps to make their websites more accessible to people with disabilities. But few are as concerned with the accessibility of their social media accounts. Does social media accessibility matter? Though not required under WCAG 2.1, social media accessibility is an increasingly important part of good digital strategy today.

As most of us know, social media has become an effective tool for business outreach, job recruiting, networking, and building brand awareness. It also plays a powerful role in education. Many people use social media as a primary source of news, instructions, and other learning resources. Since people with disabilities constitute approximately 20 percent of the population, making your social media presence as inclusive as possible may be more helpful than you think.

Social media posts can only be as accessible as a platform allows, and most platforms do not fully meet web accessibility standards yet. However, many are moving in the right direction and have steps in place to help users improve their posts. Below are a few accessibility tips for two popular social media platforms.

  • Twitter: Enable the composition of image descriptions to help people with low-vision and people using assistive technology. Click on your profile icon and select Settings and privacy. Click Accessibility and check the box for Compose image descriptions. Then click Save changes. To add image descriptions in tweets, click Tweet compose and attach a picture. Then click on the thumbnail to open the thumbnail preview dialog. Enter an image description and click Apply.A tweet itself can also act as a caption for a photo, video, or audio post. Providing a text indicator like (video) before a link can inform someone using a screen reader about what to expect from a link. Visit the help center for additional accessibility information.
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  • Facebook: An easy way to start improving the accessibility of your posts is to include information about your images. In addition to providing descriptive captions, you can insert alt text by opening an existing image, clicking Options, and clicking Change alt text. Click Override generated alt text to edit the automatically generated text. To add alt text to a new image, click Photo/Video at the top of your News Feed and select the photo to be added. Click Edit Photo and then Alt Text. Visit the Accessibility help center page for directions on adjusting text size or contrast, using keyboard shortcuts, using screen readers, or using video closed captions. You can also learn about Facebook’s navigation assistant, a tremendous support for people using screen readers and other assistive technology.

Is the educational content you post on social media accessible? Are you reaching the widest audience possible? Bridgeway Education can help you evaluate. We are committed to helping organizations improve the accessibility of their digital resources. Reach out to us at info@bridgewayed.com to find out how we can assist you.