Most users of the Internet are on some sort of social media, whether it’s to check on friends on Facebook, read comments on a YouTube video or update your LinkedIn account. But are these platforms accessible to all?
People use social media to socialize, interact, learn, teach, share, and promote, human functions that we all want access to. So it’s worth making sure that access is available to everyone.
Some of the challenges of social media platforms as compared to other online pages are the lack of headers, keyboard shortcuts, alternate text for images, colour contrast and video with closed captioning.
There are ways to enhance social media accessibility, but it’s important to stay current, as social media sites undergo frequent change. Here are a few tips for some of the more popular sites, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube:
- Facebook has a page of accessibility tips that include using the site with assistive technology, using a screen reader for captcha, navigating Facebook with keyboard shortcuts, and much more. To access the page, click here.
- Twitter can be made more accessible through the use of certain prefixes before tweets with photos, videos and audio. You can also use links in your tweets to take readers to a page with more accessible content. For further tips, visit the Queens University Social Media Accessibility page here. There is also Easy Chirp, a web-based Twitter interface that’s optimized for users with a disability and users of assistive technology. Read more here.
- YouTube provides instructions on using the site with a screen reader, which can be found here. You can also use Easy YouTube for a simpler interface here.
For more information on accessible social media, visit the Queen’s University Social Media Accessibility page here