Scottish Enterprise Service Design

Designing in the open

Making our social media communications accessible

To reach our audience, we need to do better to make sure everyone can access our posts on social media. We are planning to raise awareness within Scottish Enterprise of what needs to be done so that our communciations are accessible.

Alt text

All pictures (including diagrams) should have an Alt text (alternative text) which will be read by a screen reader for users who can’t see them.

Here how to do this on:

When adding a GIF, describe it [in square brackets]

How to do it if you are using HootSuite

A good link to understand more about alt text and how to do a good one. And a longer guidance here.

Capitalise Hashtags

Capitalising the first letter of each words on hashtags improves readability for people using screen readers. For example: #ThisIsHowtoFormatAnAccessibleHashtag

Caption videos and multimedia

More advice from the Paciello group here.


We should try not to use them too much. They are read aloud by screen readers. For example: 😃 would become “smiley face emoji”.

Hashtags and mentions should go at the end

The symbols # and @ are said aloud by screen readers, and makes it harder to understand the sentence they are part of. Adding them after the text, will make it clearer.

Avoid Caps letters

It’s harder for everyone to read. The ‘shape’ of a word help readers to identify it. The shape is lost with capitals. It can be misinterpreted by screen readers as well.

More general advice

Can be found here

How people with disabilities use tech

How does a blind person use Twitter?

How does a deaf or hard of hearing person uses technology?

Videos of people with disabilities using tech

Written on 03 Jan 2020 by Stéphanie

a11y communication