Five ways to make your social media more accessible

Shona Johnson
Relationship Manager
16 May 2019

Global Accessibility Awareness Day takes place annually on the third Thursday of May – this year falling on May 16th. Running since 2015, GAAD aims to target developers, design teams and groups who directly influence the direction of technology.

The purpose of the day is to help these groups understand the challenges many people face when using technology, with larger aims of implementing more accessible interfaces – ensuring nobody is left behind in an ever-evolving digital world.

This is a notion that we carry with us at Lightful, which got me thinking – we can and should apply these principles to our social media content too.

In the spirit of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, in this blog post, I will be sharing with you five ways to make your content more accessible to individuals who face barriers, be it due to a disability, cognitive issues, a mental health problem or difficulty using social media.

1. Get to grips with readability

Readability is a key part of making your social media accessible; it covers a lot of ground. To put it simply, readability is how easily a reader can understand a written text. One needs to take into account how complex the vocabulary or syntax of the text is, the font, the size of the writing, line length etc.

In a social media context, using actual numbers rather than typing them out, avoiding the use of specialist terms and using short, concise sentences are all good habits to get into.

Content Design London has some fantastic resources when it comes to understanding how to implement readability, which you can find here.

2. Write in camelCase when using hashtags

In a nutshell, camelCase is the practise of writing phrases such that each word begins with a capital letter. If someone is using a screen reader the hashtag will be enunciated as individual words rather than one big one.

This is also much easier to read:

3. Consider trigger warnings

Let readers know that sensitive content is being discussed by beginning your post with a ‘Trigger Warning’. You can never be sure the individual circumstances of someone that could be reading your posts, so it’s best to issue a warning before potentially upsetting someone.

It is estimated that 1 in 6 people in the past week alone have experienced a common mental health problem and that 1 in 10 people will go on to experience some form of post-traumatic stress disorder in their lifetime, these statistics speak for themselves – so be mindful.

4. Use Image Descriptions and consider visual impairments

Adding descriptions to the images you upload allows people using screen-readers to have a picture described to them. All you need to write is what the image is conveying! Twitter makes it super easy to add alternative text to your images, though it’s best to include your descriptions in the body of each post. It can be as simple as popping it in brackets, or entering it at the bottom of your post – however, you lay it out, make sure you include it.

You should also get into the habit of posting videos when utilizing Facebook and Instagram stories, as pictures with text cannot be read by a screen reader!

5. Familiarise yourself with accessibility issues

The absolute best way to start posting more accessible content is by familiarising yourself with the issues people face. The American Foundation for the Blind have a fantastic series of articles on using social media when you have a visual impairment or blindness. There are countless articles like this, all simply a google search away.

You can also try using social media with a screen reader and finding out first-hand how difficult it can be. Take the time to understand the limitations your audience may face, and prepare accordingly.

Social media is for everyone, and therefore everyone should be able to use it to its full potential. These are not big changes, and when we implement them we make the internet a better place for so many people.

What can you do to make your posts more accessible?

Sources

Latest articles

Digital mobilisation: inspiring change online

The COVID pandemic has created an urgent need for nonprofits to rapidly scale up digital advocacy and digital fundraising. Organisations need to be reaching their supporters where they are, and in 2021… they are online. A rapidly changing world post-pandemic demands new approaches to engaging the public and winning their support.

Roisin McGovern
Relationship Manager
12 May 2021
How BRIDGE helped participants raise $5 million on their year-end campaigns

Last year the COVID-19 pandemic created challenges across many sectors, but especially for nonprofits, many of which were previously reliant upon in-person events and more traditional means of fundraising. At Lightful, we’ve been working with charities to understand how the pandemic has affected the sector and what’s become evident is that digital fundraising skills are vital in adapting to the ‘new normal’ that has emerged following the pandemic.

Roisin McGovern
Relationship Manager
16 Apr 2021

Related posts

#ReclaimSocial 2021 – you were all wonderful!

Last Friday we celebrated #ReclaimSocial – the annual day where we get together to share positive and inspiring messages on our channels.

Tereza Litsa
Marketing Manager
11 Feb 2021
How charities joined GivingTuesday 2020

2020 has been challenging and it’s vital to support charities who work towards important causes.

Tereza Litsa
Marketing Manager
02 Dec 2020

See other ways Lightful can help

All
What we do
Who we help

Contact us

Want to learn more?

Email Pumulo and start a conversation

Pumulo Banda
Relationship Manager

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.