Social Media Accessibility Cheat Sheet

4/28/2017 | University of Nevada, Reno

General Best Practices

Follow the guidelines below when creating social media (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube) content or posts that are publically accessible or intended for students or personnel.

NOTE: Use this document in addition to the Basic Web Accessibility Cheat Sheet guidelines, which are not repeated here.

Content

  • Provide contact information on your account page or a link to your course/website with contact information.
  • Provide links to the social media platform’s accessibility tips and support, if possible.
  • Provide sufficient color contrast.
  • Use plain language: provide clear instructions, avoid undefined technical jargon, and spell out acronyms and abbreviations.

Hashtags

  • Use CamelCase: capitalize the first letter of words in multiple word hashtags to help screen readers distinguish separate words (e.g. #AssessibleSocialMedia). This format is also easier for fully-sighted users to read.
  • Place hashtags and “@mentions” at the end of posts. This improves screen-reader experiences.

Hyperlinks

  • Open links in the same window. Doing so permits users to use the browser’s back button to return.
  • Use link shorteners. Where descriptive links aren’t possible or convenient, a short URL is easier for screen readers to handle and helps reduce the character count for character-restricted platforms.
  • Use descriptive links and short URLs consistently at the end of posts.

Images

  • Provide alt text or image descriptions. If tools for alt text aren’t available, describe images with text where you post them. Consider manually preceding the text with “Image Description:” or “Photo Caption:” for clarity.
  • Do not use text on top of or inside of images; it can’t be read by a screen reader.
  • Do not use flashing, flickering, or blinking items (e.g. GIFs) unless they flash less than 3 times per second, and do not use saturated red colors for flashing content.

Video

  • Accurately caption voice and vocals in video; do not paraphrase. Captions should be at least 95% accurate.
  • Link to a captioned version of the file if captioned content is not possible in a social media platform.
  • Prevent videos from playing automatically; allow users the choice to play the file. 

Platform-Specific Tips

Visit the platform's help or accessibility centers for platform-specific tips on social media accessibility. Some platforms may have several help centers for different audiences (individuals, businesses, media, etc.). You may have to check several help centers to find the platform-specific information you need.

Resources