Social media accessibility

Copy

  • Ensure copy is clear
  • Camel case: Include hashtags at the end of the copy where possible and ensure separate words are capitalised (#WordsAreCapitalised) – this allows a hashtag to be read in a clear way by a screen reader
  • Be considerate with emoji use. If you use emojis, place them at the end of the copy and hashtag. Emojis are read aloud by screen readers and other assistive technologies; for example,  is read as ‘smiley face’. Be aware that other emojis are more complicated, such as ‘face with closed eyes and stuck out tongue’. 
  • Avoid acronyms

Images

All images should be accompanied by alt text/image descriptions. These are available on all major platforms:

Alt text may be read out to users who use assistive technology, so it’s important to think about the context and what is important to the message you’re trying to convey, rather than just a description. There is no need to describe every single detail of the image, as listening to a long image description via a screen reader can be exhausting. Don’t include irrelevant information, but instead pick out the few key details that help the listener construct a mental image.

Videos

Video captioning is absolutely necessary for viewers with hearing impairments. A majority of social videos are also watched on a mobile with sound off, so captions can enhance every users viewing experience.  

Make sure your videos are captioned either with:

  • Closed captions: These can be toggled on and off if you are uploading to some platforms (currently Facebook and YouTube). Please be aware that automatic captioning may not be 100% accurate. Make sure to review the captions closely to make sure they are accurate before publishing your video.
  • Open/burn captioning: These are overlaid on the video and visible to everyone. They require editing in the video itself.

It is important to also add captions to videos appearing on Instagram and Facebook Stories.

Best practices:

  • Make sure your captions are clear and bold
  • Be aware you will need space for captions when you are filming

Contact us


For questions about accessibility and digital communications - or social media more generally - please contact the Digital Communications team in PAD:

digicomms@admin.ox.ac.uk