Social Media Accessibility

 

 

 

audio version (opens in a new tab)

 

 

 

As I mentioned in

a previous blog article,

I enjoy attending webinars in order to learn. On December 15, 2020, I attended a learning session from the Great Lakes ADA Center. The topic was

“Social Media Management: Accessibility Basics”.

Although the subject came across to me as intended for information technology professionals, I still found the session interesting. In this article, I will summarize the presentation and reflect on it.

 

The presenter began by explaining the importance of accessibility on social media platform. Accessibility can help a company market products to the disability community. When social media is not accessible, people with disabilities can miss conversations. The presenter recommended that information in social media posts be clear and comprehensive. As an example, a short sentence can be easier to understand than a long wordy one. The presenter provided additional tips.

 

I know that emoji symbols are popular on social media. The presenter used an IPhone and demonstrated how emojis can sound likeĀ  nonsense characters using Apple’s VoiceOver screen reader. The presenter recommended not using emoji symbols excessively. Text descriptions of pictures can help people who are visually impaired. Although Facebook provides automatic picture descriptions, the technology is not perfect. In the last portion of her presentation, the presenter explained the importance of closed captioning and, when necessary, audio description of visuals for videos. I will now reflect on the presentation.

The presenter provided valuable information and insights which can help people who might be unaware of accessibility for those with disabilities. As a person with a disability myself, I was surprised to learn that emojis are not accessible with all screen readers. Since I can access them on Windows, I was not aware they can sometimes be inaccessible on an Apple device. Overall, the presentation taught me the importance of having presentation materials available. To me the presenter talked at practically the speed of light, meaning it was sometimes difficult for me to comprehend what she was saying. For that reason, I appreciate that presentation materials are archived along with the recording. As I pointed out in my presentation evaluation, I can listen to the materials with my screen reader at a speed which I can comprehend. Bottom line: this was an interesting presentation with useful material.

 

Question for readers: What have you learned recently which could benefit the disability community? I will return next week with another article.

 

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