Making Social Media Content More Accessible
Here at Bath Mind, we want everyone to feel included.
Whether in person or virtually, it’s really important that differences in ability, age, gender and language are included. This #GlobalAccessibilityAwarenessDay, our Communications team share some small changes we can all make to improve the accessibility of our social media content to make it available to all.
What changes can we all make?
- Write clearly and concisely. Using short sentences and writing simply is important for screen reading software and can help those who have a learning difficulty or English as an additional language.
- Include Alternative (Alt) Text. This simply means writing what the image shows – this is then read aloud to users by screen reader software. Keep it simple, but do ensure that the image description explains the meaning of your image. Some people also choose to include an image description in the main post in case there are issues with different screen readers picking it up. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn have an Alt Text feature and most scheduling platforms will automatically include Alt Text for your posts.
- Always add captions to videos. This is essential so that people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have sensory processing disorders can watch your content and feel included.
- Use CamelCase hashtags. This simply means capitalising the first letter of each word in hashtags, making it easier for screen readers to process, as well as making the text clearer for those with and without disabilities.
- Use limited emoji’s. Text-to-speech software reads all elements of a web page or social media post, including emoji’s. It’s best to avoid lots of emoji’s or alternating each word with an emoji so that your content is more accessible to those with visual impairments.
- Use inclusive language. It’s really important that we don’t use words that exclude or stereotype people based on race, sexual orientation, age, gender identity, ability, socioeconomic status or any other characteristic. Check out this article by VeryWellMind that explains ableist language in more detail, with suggestions to replace commonly used ableist words. Using gender-neutral pronouns and terms is another helpful and simple way to include everyone in your social media content.
Small changes can make a big difference
We know it can be a challenge to get it 100% right all of the time, especially as new platforms and technologies emerge and people’s needs change over time, but small changes can make a big difference and making our digital content accessible should be a priority for us all.
For more information, resources and tips on digital inclusion, head to the Global Accessibility Awareness Day website.
Posted on: 16th May 2022