We often think about how often our posts are seen, but what if sometimes they are never seen, but heard instead?
Statistically, blind and partially sighted people are just as likely to use social media as those without a visual impairment.
Whilst these people will already have their own ways of making social media accessible, it can’t hurt to follow a few simple tips to do what you can to make your content easier to access.
1: Add image descriptions / alt text.
You can either write an image desciption into your post copy, or it is very easy to add alt text. Facebook automatically adds alt text, but it is worth checking your alt text and editing it where necessary.
2: Use CamelCase in your hashtags.
Capitalise the first letter in each word of your hashtags. This is called CamelCase and will make it easier for screen readers to read out the words correctly.
3: Don’t overuse emojis.
Screen readers either tend to read out the whole name of the emoji – so if you’ve added five grinning faces at the end of a paragraph, the screen reader will read out “grinning face with smiling eyes grinning face with smiling eyes grinning face with smiling eyes grinning face with smiling eyes grinning face with smiling eyes” and I imagine that would get be boring to hear!
4: Ensure that your videos are audio led. If this is not possible, add an audio desciption.
Try to make a video where the sound is just as important as the visual. Imagine you can’t see the actual video but can hear the sound.. does it make sense? If this is not possible then add an audio description.
5: Check often for new accessibility features on your platforms and utilise them when they arise.
Updates happen to all of the platforms, all of the time. Keep an eye out for any new features and learn to use them!