Organizations use social media to conduct outreach, public relations, recruit job candidates, encourage workplace productivity and more. Each social media outlet presents its own challenges for publishing accessible content, and there are specific techniques and work-arounds to be aware of for each one. Here are some general tips for accessibility of social media in general:
- Use more than one social media channel for conveying your information or message. Provide links to additional ways to access your social media content, such as daily email digests of social media posts.
- Make sure your contact information can be found on your social media account page, such as your website url and the contact for responding to questions.
- Publicize the information for the accessibility programs or teams of the different social media outlets.
- Ensure that your social media content conforms to applicable accessibility standards and requirements.
- Use easy-to-understand language and avoid acronyms.
- Add captions to all photos; they should be succinct and describe what the scene includes and important details related to the purpose of including the photo.
- Videos should be captioned. See http://www.reelseo.com/how-to-add-closed-captions-facebook-videos/ for instruction on captioning Facebook videos .
- Facebook’s accessibility team has a Facebook Page.
- Facebook’s Help Center has a useful information for accessibility.
- Many common wording abbreviations are difficult to comprehend for screen reader users. Avoid unfamiliar acronyms whenever possible. Indicate whether a link is a photo, video or audio file with [PIC], [VIDEO] or [AUDIO].
- Make sure your links go to accessible content.
- Use the Twitter setting for the “image description” feature, which allows you to add a description to any photo directly included in a tweet.
- Use camel case for multiple words within a hashtag: camel case capitalizes the first letter or each word.
- Make sure snap stories can be understood by all users. Plan them out with a storyboard.
- Use the larger text option for captions.
- Check for high contrast between the background and the captions.
- Use the “Post Description” area for adding alt text for images and to caption videos.
- Avoid using acronyms in captions.
“Is Your Social Media Accessible to Everyone? These 9 Best Practices Can Help”, an article from Shondaland.com.
“Improving the Accessibility of Social Media for Public Service” is a toolkit developed by the Office of Disability Employment Policy of the U.S. Department of Labor, the General Services Administration and the Social Media Working Group of the Federal Social Media Community of Practice.
Accessibility in Social Media by Debra Ruh is published on the Level Access website.