Social media accessibility
Most social media platforms offer additional tools or functionality that you can use to make content more accessible. Small changes can dramatically improve user experience.
- Ensure copy is clear and spaced out
- 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 – unless you have introduced them initially in your copy
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.
What to include in image alt text?
- Keep your description short and to the point
- Avoid saying 'image of' or 'photo of'
- Pick out a few key details that help a listener construct a mental image
- Include any text that is included in the image
- Mention colour – if it is important to the image
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 user’s 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 Twitter, Facebook and YouTube)
- 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
It is important to also add captions to videos appearing on Instagram and Facebook Stories.
- Make sure your captions are clear and bold
- If you use automated captions, please review the captions to make sure they are accurate
- Be aware you will need space for captions when you are filming
Further information on accessibility on different social media platforms:
For questions about accessibility and digital communications - or social media more generally - please contact the Digital Communications team in PAD: