Designing for Diversity: Making Social Media Accessible For All

What is accessibility?

Accessibility on social media refers to the practice of designing and presenting content in a way that ensures individuals with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with it effectively. It involves making social media platforms and the content shared on them accessible to a diverse range of users, including those with visual, auditory, cognitive, or motor impairments.

Why is accessibility important?

Ensuring accessibility on social media promotes inclusivity, equal opportunities, broader engagement, compliance with legal requirements, positive brand reputation, and SEO benefits. It is a fundamental aspect of creating an inclusive and equitable digital space for all users.

At least 15% of the world’s population experiences some form of disability. Inaccessible content on social media prevents these people from being able to engage with your practice. 

Accessibility Tips!

  1. Captions
    Adding captions to videos allows people with hearing loss or processing issues to access your video content. Also 75% of users watch Instagram videos on mute so if videos do not have captions, only 25% of users are hearing the content. Facebook and Instagram have tools build in to add captions to videos.
  2. Alt Text
    Alt text is alternative text that shows up on or next to images for people who are visually impaired. This text describes the content of the image so that users who struggle to see it can see understand the information being conveyed. Always add alt text to your images, make sure it is informative and description.
  3. Use Plain English and Accessible Fonts
    While cursive fonts may look pretty, they are very difficult for people with accessibility issues to decipher. Make sure you write in plain English with minimal jargon or abbreviations and use fonts that are easy for screen readers to understand.
  4. Pascal Case Hashtags
    Pascal case is capitalising the first letter of every word in a hashtag. This makes hashtags easier to read for everyone but can be especially helpful for people with reading difficulties like Dyslexia.
  5. Only use Emojis at the end of sentences
    Emoji’s can be difficult for screen readers to decipher and disrupts the flow of a sentence so, where possible, only use them at the end of sentences.
  6. Accessible Images
    Keep accessibility in mind when producing images. Make sure they have a high contrast ratio and as little text as possible. You can use tools such as accessibility checker to make sure people who are visually impaired or colour blind can view your images.

Prioritising accessibility on social media is not just a matter of compliance, but a crucial step towards fostering inclusivity and ensuring equal opportunities for all users.  It’s about making sure that everyone, regardless of disabilities, can easily access crucial dental information and resources. By embracing accessibility, you can ensure everyone who engages with your practice experiences a more inclusive and friendly experience and feels heard, valued and empowered in their oral health journey. 

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