On social media, we do not have access to make changes the platform but we can ensure our profiles are as accessible as possible through our content strategy.
Consider these tips when creating social media content.
- Posts must be easy to understand. On Twitter, be careful to balance clarity with the need to be concise.
- Avoid abbreviations that are unfamiliar to your audience.
- When using multiple-word hashtags, capitalise the first letter in each word to make them more readable (#AusGov, #WebWriting for example).
- Consider placing hashtags and @mentions at the end of your post so the main part of the post can be read without interruption.
- Avoid using text-based emoticons. VoiceOver can read some of them properly, but many will be misread by screen readers.
- Limit use of foreign language words or phrases, except for proper names, technical terms or words that have become part of English.
- Post images with strong colour contrast to ensure text and data are legible.
- Avoid posting images that use colour alone to convey meaning.
- Minimise posting images of text (except for logos, screenshots, maps, diagrams, graphs/charts, some infographics). If you do post them, use large text and plain, readable fonts. Never post an image of text just to get around the word limit on Twitter.
- Don’t post animated graphics that flash or blink unless you’ve tested them to ensure they won’t cause seizures. Provide a text alternative for images you post, except where the image is purely decorative.
- Include the text alternative as part of your post. On Twitter, you can use EasyChirp which lets you write a text alternative and long description which are linked as part of your post.
- For image galleries, add a text alternative for each image in the space provided for captions.
- Publish video on YouTube rather than on Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn, so you can caption and audio describe it. If you must post on other channels, include a link to a captioned/audio described version.
- Give each video a clear title and description.
- Avoid publishing videos that use colour alone to convey meaning, or poor colour contrast for text or data contained in them.
- Don’t publish videos with content that flashes or blinks unless you’ve tested them to ensure they won’t cause seizures.
- Create captions to make the dialogue and important sounds accessible. Don’t rely on auto-generated captions as they are often inaccurate.
- Where necessary, include audio descriptions to make any important visual content accessible.
- Where possible, provide a link to a transcript published in HTML on your website, and based on your captions and audio descriptions.
- Ensure linked content is clearly labelled or described:
- Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn will generate a link and description based on metadata from the resource you’re linking to. You might need to edit or clarify these in the text caption.
- Remove the URL from your Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn caption after the network has generated the link and description text. For those using screen readers, including the link in text creates a duplicate link and the URL may not be easy to read/listen to.
- Where appropriate, include text that explains the value of the linked content or provides some rationale for why you’re sharing it.
- Avoid linking to inaccessible content. If you must, consider including a warning (‘Poor contrast’, for example).
- Limit links to documents. If used, ensure PDFs are tagged, and warn users about the file type and size (‘[PDF 500KB]’, for example).
- Consider including a warning when linking directly to images, infographics, video or audio, unless your post already makes it obvious (‘[PIC]’, ‘[INFOGRAPHIC]’, ‘[VIDEO]’, ‘[AUDIO]’).
- The “About” section of the social media profile page should include contact details.
- If possible, include contact information for accessibility support.
- Improving the accessibility of social media in government
- Creating accessible infographics
- How to create an accessible infographic
- 5 ways to increase video accessibility and minimise cost
- Captions on YouTube
- Audio descriptions on YouTube
- Captions on Vimeo