Accessible Social

Creator: Accessible Social

Date Updated: March 28, 2022

Accessible Social is a free resource to help guide creating and learning about creating accessible social media. LIbraries can use this resource to help make their marketing and communications more accessible for all patrons.

Quick Facts

  • Why should you make your social media posts accessible?
    • Your marketing and promotional materials will reach more people if it is accessible.
    • Complying with legislation (current and upcoming) to create an inclusive experience for all.
    • It shows that you care about how your patrons access the content.

Use these guidelines to create accessible social media posts:

  • Use camel case hashtags, which is easier for everyone to read, including those who use assistive technologies. Came case hashtags, capitalize the first letter of each word, for example, #ThisIsACamelCaseHashtag.
  • Use descriptive text to represent hyperlinks. Do not use the URL (https:/www…) or text that doesn’t describe where the link goes (“click here”).
  • Write in plain language for your audience (whoever they may be) by organizing your information, using an active voice, and being clear and concise.
  • Avoid using spaces, tabs, and hard returns to format your posts (like tabbing to create two columns). Assistive technologies will read everything from right to left, top to bottom, so if you format your content like this, it will be read out of order and confusing.
  • Consider what and how many emojis you use in your posts. The description of each emoji can differ between social media platforms, and using multiple emoji can be an annoyance to people who use assistive technology. Screen readers will read out the description of each emoji you use.
  • Do not use alternate characters (copy and pasted from external sites) to change the style and typeface of your font. This is inaccessible, and some assistive devices skip over them or try to pronounce the alternate characters producing unidentifiable sounds.
  • Add alt text to the images in your post. When writing images descriptions, be clear and concise. You do not need to describe everything and do not start the alt-text with “photo of,” “image of,” or “graphic of” because most screen readers will announce “image” before reading the alt text.
  • Ensure that there is a high contrast between items in your posts with different colours (for example, the text and background). It would be best to aim for 4.5:1 for the text below 17 pts (in regular font-weight).
  • You should always include captions for videos and audio. Closed captions can be turned on and off based on view preference. Open captions are permanently embedded into a video.
  • If you have videos in your posts, use video descriptions to describe key visual elements and unnarrated actions for views.
  • If in doubt, test your social media posts! You can do this by setting up test accounts, navigating your content with built-in screen readers (like VoiceOver on iOS), or and most effectively, by consulting with disability and accessibility experts.

Visit Accessible Social

References

Accessible Social (March 26, 2022). Why Accessibility Matters. Accessed March 28, 2022. Retrieved from: https://www.accessible-social.com/why-accessibility-matters

Accessible Social (March 26, 2022). Hashtags. Accessed March 28, 2022. Retrieved from: https://www.accessible-social.com/hashtags

Accessible Social (March 26, 2022). Links and Hypertext. Accessed March 28, 2022. Retrieved from: https://www.accessible-social.com/links-and-hypertext

Accessible Social (March 26, 2022). Plain Language. Accessed March 28, 2022. Retrieved from: https://www.accessible-social.com/plain-language

Accessible Social (March 26, 2022). Formatting. Accessed March 28, 2022. Retrieved from: https://www.accessible-social.com/formatting

Accessible Social (March 26, 2022). Emoji. Accessed March 28, 2022. Retrieved from: https://www.accessible-social.com/emoji

Accessible Social (March 26, 2022). Alternative Characters. Accessed March 28, 2022. Retrieved from: https://www.accessible-social.com/alternative-characters

Accessible Social (March 26, 2022). Alternative Text. Accessed March 28, 2022. Retrieved from: https://www.accessible-social.com/alternative-text

Accessible Social (March 26, 2022). Using Color. Accessed March 28, 2022. Retrieved from: https://www.accessible-social.com/using-color

Accessible Social (March 26, 2022). Captions. Accessed March 28, 2022. Retrieved from: https://www.accessible-social.com/captions

Accessible Social (March 26, 2022). Video Descriptions. Accessed March 28, 2022. Retrieved from: https://www.accessible-social.com/video-descriptions

Accessible Social (March 26, 2022). Testing and Checking Content. Accessed March 28, 2022. Retrieved from: https://www.accessible-social.com/testing-content