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This is a great place to start!

On Twitter, you can follow disabled people and learn from them. Social Media don’t have to keep you in your own little bubble, this can also be a way for you to learn from people very different from you. Give it a try!

To reach your audience, you need to do better to make sure everyone can access your posts on social media.

Main recommendations:


Write clearly and use plain English

Use plain English like you would with any other content for our services. Avoid jargon and use clear, simple language.

If you’re creating a longer post on platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn, you should use line breaks to break up your text.


Alt text

All pictures (including diagrams) should have an Alt text (alternative text) so users with screen readers know what the image is and get the same level of information as users who can see the image. 

Here how to do this on:

Not all platforms let you add alt text to a gif. If you can’t add proper alt text, just describe it within your post 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

Did you know what #a11y means?

This is an abbreviation for Accessibility, it’s called a numeronym, it’s the first and last letters and there are 11 in between.

diagram explaining a11y with the number from 1 to 11 undern the central letters


Caption videos and multimedia

More advice from the Paciello group here.


Emoji

You can use emojis, but be aware that screen readers will describe them out loud. For example: 😃 would become “smiley face emoji”. This means if you use an emoji in the middle of a sentence, it might make it more difficult for someone using a screen reader to follow the sentence.

Emojis should only be used in addition to written text – never replace a word in a sentence with an 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 writing in capital letters

Some people rely on the ‘shape’ of a word to read more efficiently. Using all caps means words lose this shape, and in some cases may cause a screen reader to read the word letter by letter.


More general advice

Planning, creating and publishing accessible social media campaigns - By the Government Communication Service


How people with disabilities use tech


How does a blind person use Twitter?


Blind women using tech

Please note:

This is a work in progress and we will be happy to get some feedback (Please contact Tress Carmichael: tress.carmichael@scotent.co.uk).

Thank you!


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Last updated: 11 Aug 2021