Is it possible to make social media accessible to people with disabilities? At WeCo, social media accessibility is a part of doing business every day, so we’re happy to share what we know. If you apply common sense and good content management, you’ll be more than halfway there.
This post is one of a series we’ll be offering on how to make social media accessible. It includes the basics you can apply to all of your platforms, in seven short points.
The Basic Principles
- Understand what digital accessibility is. Read the requirements (find them in WeCo’s Free Accessibility Library) and understand how they help your users who live with disabilities (view videos of WeCo Testers demonstrating devices). It’s the only way you’ll know how to address the need.
- Provide a point of contact on your social media pages. This will give users who may be experiencing accessibility issues somewhere to turn. It’s also a great way for people who may be interested in your product to reach you. Most platform bio or intro lines make it possible to include a phone number and email address. We recommend including both to accommodate individual accessibility needs.
- Send the same posts across all of your channels. People with different disabilities find different platforms more accessible than others. Sending the same posts in all of your channels is more inclusive.
- Add a social media thread to your website. While it’s no longer fashionable to display social media threads on our websites, we’ve had clients and supporters who’ve told us how much they miss ours since we removed it. Threads on your website can be an easy way for people across disability types to get all of your posts in one place.
- Provide email digests of your posts. We find that many of our staff and testers, particularly those who are non-visual users, read social media digests exclusively. Many of my older friends, who do not identify as living with a disability, do this, too. As someone living with a cognitive disability myself, I find that digests can be less overwhelming.
- Put links to your platforms on your website. OK, this one might too basic, but it’s good to know that those links do help people find you. Make certain those links are properly labeled, so that they can be identified by assistive technology.
- If you can’t vouch for the accessibility of a third-party link, admit it. We understand how inaccessible most of the web world is. We also understand that it’s not possible for everyone to promote content that is 100% accessible. A simple, “This website may not be accessible” in parenthesis next to the link is good. People appreciate knowing if you don’t know.
Further reading from WeCo’s Accessibility Blog about digital and social media accessibility:
Other WeCo Resources
Want to learn more about accessibility?
WeCo’s Accessibility Blog gives you “bite size” education on digital accessibility that can be applied to inclusion employment.
Our Workshops and Webinars are also a great place to learn more about digital accessibility and inclusion for your organization.
Come visit our community on LinkedIn: Disability Employment Connection (DEC)!