Making social media and websites accessible to everyone
Why is this important?
Not everyone has perfect vision or can easily view information online as easily as some.
Consider the following;-
- Someone who is colour blind and cannot easily tell the difference between certain colours.
- Someone whose eyesight is not as good as it was and cannot read small text.
- Someone who is registered blind and uses a screen reader to read text.
- Someone who is not fluent in English and would prefer to read text in another language.
If you have gone to the trouble of making a social media post or added some information to a website you will likely want to make sure that as many people as possible can understand the information that you want to communicate.
But that’s a lot different issues to think about? I don’t have the time or knowledge to think about all that every time I make a post!
The good news is that you can make it much easier for those experiencing the above issues by making sure that all of the important information is included as plain text in your post. Technology such as modern smart phones and browsers do most of the work.
For example, iPhones and iPads have accessibility settings that allow users to change the colours of text and make it larger. They also have a Spoken Content feature that means that selected text or pages will be read out. Similarly text can also be translated into other languages.
Android phones, Windows and macOS computers have similar features.
What posts or webpages cause particular difficulties?
Posts are regularly put on Facebook and Instagram that have a single image. This image contains a lot of information that is embedded into the image itself, for example a poster advertising an event. Poster images like these are great for getting attention and are very popular. Unfortunately, if all of the text is part of the image, it cannot be accessed by the accessibility features.
The best way to make these posts accessible is to include all of the text as text below the poster. This does repeat the information but you can get the best of both worlds. An attractive poster that gets everyone’s attention plus the same information available to all those who struggle to read or see the image.
Also, be sure to add a link to your social media page or website so that anyone viewing your post can easily click on the link.