Social media has become integral to our lives, from connecting with others over shared interests to documenting big and small moments. For parents, social media is often used to share about our families; however, as parents of children who are blind or low vision, some of the content we share about our children isn’t accessible to those children, their peers, or other people in the disability community. To celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), we’re sharing a few tips to help ensure inclusive social media accounts!
Use Alt Text for Images
Alt text is a brief description of an image that can be read aloud and gives people using screen readers a similar experience to sighted people. When you upload a photo, take a moment to add a description of the key details in the image. But don’t go overboard! Include important context that gives readers the “why” behind your post. Find out how to add alt text to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
CamelCase is a method of capitalizing the first letter of each word in a phrase or hashtag, with no spaces between the words. For example, instead of using #familyvacation, use #FamilyVacation. This helps screen readers identify and pronounce each word separately, making it easier for individuals who are blind or low vision to understand the context of the post. It makes it easier for sighted folks too!
Add Audio Description to Videos
If you post a video, add an audio description of what’s happening on screen. This can be as simple as describing what you see as it’s shown on the screen as you record it. This is much like the info you would include in the alt text, just said out loud. And always remember to caption any audio in your videos as well!
Make Your Emojis Count
Did you know that screen readers announce each emoji’s name? Hearing “red heart” repeated ten times gets tiresome and confusing, so use them sparingly.
Let’s make social media a more inclusive space for all! Find more GAAD tips on the APH website.
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