Social Media Accessibility Tips
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Social Media Accessibility Tips

We’re going to be talking about Twitter tonight and composing a more accessible tweet But I’d also like to talk about — because we all
use so many different social media tools There’s Twitter, there’s Instagram, there’s LinkedIn,
there’s Facebook, there’s Tumblr, Google Plus, I mean, the list just goes on and on and on and on. So these are actually some things that
you can do in any of your social media posts that will help make your social
media more accessible for the people that are subscribing to your social media feeds. So the first is to use plain language.
And by plain language — especially in education, we tend to
like our acronyms. And as much as possible if we can spell out what those
acronyms are, you know if you’re having if you’re in a Twitter chat for example
spelling out the acronym in the — you know, in the beginning of the
conversation and then you can use the acronym later on the conversation but
really trying to keep our language simple so that everybody can understand
what we’re saying and everybody can — and the screen reader doesn’t have to read a
whole lot of acronyms in our posts. The next one is to use camel case in our hashtags. If we have multiple words in our hashtags. And if
you’re not familiar with what camel case is, if you think of a camel, a camel has
humps and those are the capital letters within the camel case words so
this word right here, “camel case” I actually did in camel case just to give
you an example but it’s it actually helps — by doing that — like for example, if
you have a multiple word hashtag like social media, for example, you would
capitalize the S and the M for social media. And that helps a screen reader
identify that there are different words rather than just reading, you know, well I
guess social media would be read OK but there are other ones that if you string
a bunch of words together in hashtags it can get really confusing for screen
readers but also when we use our hashtags we don’t want to use too many of them because screen readers don’t handle
hashtags very well. But if we do want to use them try to limit it to three or four at most and if unless — if you don’t integrate
them into the post itself like as — like, if I’m talking about social media, I use
the words “social media” and I make that a hashtag that’s integrating it and I’ll
talk a little bit about that more later We want to put those hashtags at the
end so that when screen readers are reading the post people can just stop
the screen reader if there’s a bunch of gobbledygook at the end. That’s my second tip. My third tip is
image descriptions. So Facebook has actually started doing — using — it’s
not augmented — I’m blanking on the word right now — it’s
artificial intelligence! Sorry. It’s — they’ve actually — yeah thank
you, Luis — they’re using artificial intelligence to try to identify the
content of images and they’re doing kind of automatic image descriptions which is
a great step forward but it would be even better if they would let us write
our own image descriptions or at least have that option so that you know
instead of, you know, they were — there was a press conference
or something that I was watching at work about this and they were saying, you know,
it can’t identify that it’s pepperoni pizza, but it can identify that it’s pizza. well if the fact that it’s pepperoni
pizza is important to the post we want to be able to say that.
So when we’re doing posts and we use images which is so engaging for people images are really, really important in
social media we don’t want to NOT use images but we want to provide
descriptions of those images in things like Facebook and Instagram and
Pinterest and things like that you have a larger number of characters that you
can use in the posts so it’s really easy to put an image description right in
your post for your users and especially with Instagram your description could be,
you know, go right along with the caption of your photo on Instagram.
So that’s really important to include those images and it’s
especially important when we use text on images because text on images can’t be
read by a screen reader. And we want people who cannot see the image to
also be able to know what’s in that image so i’ll talk about that too,
in terms of Twitter with our limited number of characters. Also when we post videos
we want to make sure that those videos are captioned so that our hearing
impaired and Deaf users of social media can also participate in listening to the
video or seeing what the content of the
video and that’s it really but that’s pretty much as simple as
going to the video and making sure that it’s captioned on YouTube. There’s some —
there’s a lot of — that’s exactly right, Luis. Those with low literacy and
English language learners absolutely benefit from captions. Actually, you know
people without disabilities actually benefit from all of these things too
like camel case for hashtags. I forgot to mention that. Thank you for reminding me. It actually makes them easier for
sighted people to read those hashtags as well, especially if it’s a long
string of words strung together in the hashtag.
But yeah captioned video just make sure that it’s captioned and
if you’re posting your own videos there’s some great ways — there’s some
great tools out there to help you caption. YouTube has built-in captioning tools that you can
caption your own videos right in YouTube. But there’s some others — and Facebook
actually allows you to add captions to your videos as well. and there are other platforms that
allow you to create captions so lots of options out there.
And the last a little tip is — So, unfortunately in social media we can’t
put text over our URLs so we have to have naked URLs in social
media. Most social media platforms haven’t yet developed the ability to
have meaningful text over the URL. So one thing that we can do is to use link
shorteners when we post links to other resources. Now Twitter has a built-in
link shortener it will just put a dot-dot-dot character at the end but there are things like
Bitly and TinyURL and Google has a link shortener, there’s there’s vanity link
shorteners out there that you can — you know, you can buy the web domain to
have your own link shortener — Yes, that’s exactly right Diana, followfriday or justsayin those are
those are non-camelcase. Yep, that’s exactly right. So much easier to read. I am a big fan
of camel case hashtags. And camel case if you’re going to push —
if you’re gonna smush words together. So yeah, so link shorteners are a great way to cut down on the amount of
gobbledygook that the screen readers have to read, and also it’s a nice
thing to put the links at the end of your post, so again if — as soon as
people who are using the screen readers hear that HTTP they can just cut off the
screen reader right then and know that they’re not missing anything else at the
end of your post.

2 thoughts on “Social Media Accessibility Tips

  1. Good information. Thank you Mindy Johnson. I am not sure if there was supposed to be an actual video with your discussion or not. It sounded like you referred to a picture of camel case which would have been helpful for those who can see.

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