How to make your social media content more accessible
Fifteen percent of the world’s population is Disabled – probably more considering many Disabled people don’t disclose or aren’t diagnosed. So your social media followers will comprise Disabled people! Please make your content accessible – it brings more views, and is a great business decision. Accessible content shows Disabled people we are welcome.
Here are some quick, easy and affordable ways to make your content accessible:
- Image and video descriptions: in the caption of your post, describe what’s happening in the image, state what’s in the photo with as much detail as possible, copy and paste any text from the image.
- Caption your videos: put captions on your videos. You can use the inbuilt captions on Instagram and Facebook (and other social platforms) , or use a caption app. I use Mix Captions – it’s really easy to do once you’ve made a video. Make sure your captions are spelled correctly, and are in readable positions and colours (not blocked by the social media platform’s text; and light text on dark background, dark text on light background). And while I was captioning a video, the app told me “83% of viewers watch with sound off on social media” – so captions dont only benefit Deaf and Disabled people.
- Content warnings: to alert users what the post contains. Content warnings can include death, suicide, violence, war, blood, ableism etc; and also for flashing lights, loud noise, flashing lights, bright colours and other visual and sonic features of the post.
- Good colour contrast: the difference in brightness between foreground and background colours. Bright text on bright backgrounds can be hard to see, as can pale text on pale backgrounds, and dark text on dark backgrounds. Light text on dark backgrounds, and dark text on light backgrounds work the best for readability. Check out https://colourcontrast.cc to see if the colours you want to use are accessible.
Accessible communication is a human right – see Article 9 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Please make your content accessible – especially if you’re a brand, media outlet or organisation. Disabled people shouldn’t have to ask for accessibility.
Make access provision a step in your content creation:
- Take the photo/make the video
- Write the accompanying text
- Write the image/video description, content warning, caption the video, check the contrast
- Create the post in the social media app/blog – double check it for accessibility and accuracy
- Post it!
There are instructions to making content accessible via my LinkTree.
If this post has helped you, please consider buying me a drink. Thanks!