Social Media Accessibility

Social media has become an important aspect of the everyday life, either in the scope of social connectivity or as work tools (e.g. teaching, digital marketing). Among the most used are Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, Google+, and Snapchat. Since such sites are not accessible on their own, some common accessibility issues you need to consider before using any of them as work tools are:

  • Lack of section headings
  • Poor color contrast
  • Inability to navigate using keyboard only
  • Missing alternative text for images and photos
  • Inability to resize text
  • Videos lacking captioning

In a first step, it is important to dentify which accessibility features exist in each platform and use them to make your posts more inclusive. For example, twitter provides a feature to add alternative text to images in a tweet, but you must turn it on from your settings. Facebook has the option to add machine-generated alternative text automatically, which you cannot however edit. Instagram has no character limit for the post caption section, where you can add descriptive text of the photo. Flickr has an option to add a description, which you should use to provide descriptive text for you photo.

At the same time, there are various tools that can support you to improve the accessibility of social media posts, including captioning, provision of alternative text for images and photos, and more.

Selected Social Media Accessibility References

  1. Federal Social Media Accessibility Toolkit Hackpad: Improving the Accessibility of Social Media for Public Service - DigitalGov
  2. Accessibility in Social Media - LEVEL access, article by guest blogger Debra Ruh
  3. Golden Rules of Social Media Accessibility - Jennifer Smith, Danya International
  4. How to be more accessible on social media - Siteimprove

Video explanations and tutorials related to social media accessibility

Tools that can help to improve social media accessibility