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Evolving Web’s Guide to Improving Your Social Media Accessibility

People are having more and more conversations on social media. It’s our job, as digital communicators, to include everyone in those conversations. Web accessibility means that we don’t leave people out of digital experiences. Social media accessibility works the exact same way.

In this article, we’ll present you with some ideas, best practices and guides for creating accessible social media content.

  1. What Is Content Accessibility?
  2. Why Content Accessibility Matters
  3. Social Media Accessibility: Getting Started
  4. Your Social Media Accessibility Checklist
  5. Good Examples of Social Media Accessibility
  6. Your Guide to Uploading Accessible Media
  7. What to do next?

👩‍💻 Want to learn more about accessibility? Enroll in our Drupal Web Accessibility training


What Is Content Accessibility?

First of all, let’s talk about content accessibility in a broader sense. Content accessibility is the practice of building digital content usable by everyone regardless of their level of ability or disability. It goes beyond complying with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG): it’s about providing equal access to people with diverse abilities. This approach aligns with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which recognizes access to information and communications technologies as a fundamental human right.

Why Content Accessibility Matters

Content accessibility benefits people with:

  • Motor impairments, such as lost or damaged limbs, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injury
  • Visual impairments, such as colour blindness, loss of central or peripheral vision, blurred vision, generalized haze, and extreme light sensitivity
  • Cognitive disabilities, such as aphasia, autism, attention deficit, dyslexia, dyscalculia, intellectual and memory loss, and more
  • Temporary disabilities, such as broken limbs, hand injuries, or short-term impairments following surgery or medical treatments
  • Disabilities caused by old age, such as arthritis and hearing impairment

When your content is accessible, it’s more easily translatable by assistive technologies that improve digital experiences for people with disabilities. While these tools—screen readers, screen magnifiers, keyboards, and special contrast settings—don’t provide perfect ways to interact on social media, they provide other methods than the browser and mouse to access content.

Social Media Accessibility: Getting Started

According to Hootsuite, social platforms gained 1.3 million users every day in 2020, and today, 4.2 billion people use social media around the world (or 53.6% of the entire planet’s population). These users have eight social accounts on average and spend around 2.5 hours a day using them.

Social platforms are used to human connections, get information, and research for products and services. Social platforms launch new features every day, which makes it a challenge to keep up with accessibility best practices.

So how does accessible content apply to social media? Here are some simple steps, you’ll ensure your social media content is on the right track:

  • Think like a user – Empathy goes a long way in terms of accessibility. When you put yourself in your users’ shoes, it’ll be clearer for you how to create the best experience.
  • Start with new content – Social media is super-dynamic, so don’t worry as much about adjusting older content. Instead, make sure your new content is accessible. If older content continues to get traction (for example, popular videos that are featured on your YouTube channel), set up a plan to go back and improve this content.

 

 

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