Why Accessibility Matters
People with disabilities need to use your social media tool to connect to the world.
By making your social media tool accessible, you help create more inclusive communities and improve your tool’s reputation.
Content creators and content consumers need social media tools that:
- are accessible to users with disabilities
- produce accessible content
Accessibility is required by law and is a procurement requirement in many situations.
These persona scenarios show examples of accessibility problems that disabled people experience using social media tools, and what works well in tools that are accessible.
Everyone can rely on your tool
Persona: Banele is a social media consultant with low vision. Her screen resolution is set so everything is bigger on her display.
I used to be able to easily publish client posts using our social media platform. The last platform update doesn't work for me now. The publish button is off the screen and I can't get to it.
The platform updates are getting even better for my configuration, and also for my colleagues with other disabilities.
Users who have auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical, speech, or visual disabilities need your platform to work with their settings and specialized software, called assistive technologies.
Everyone can read and process content at their own pace
Persona: Nushi is an influencer with reading disabilities. He uses tools to have text read aloud.
When content refreshes too fast, I have problems keeping up. It is difficult for me to manage new comments.
I can decide when to have new content appear. This way I can read at my own pace, use tools to read content aloud if needed, and make sure I am reacting and responding to my followers when I need to.
People who use social media have different abilities. For example, they may read content at different paces. Your tool should allow them to decide how they want to process the new content that appears.
The tool helps create accessible multimedia
Persona: Enhamed manages the social profile of a client. He uploads images and videos to showcase his client's activities. His client has asked him to make these media accessible, but he does not know how to do this.
My client has now requested that I make all media accessible, including images, audio, and video. I am not sure how to get this done, and I can’t find anything in my tool that explains it.
When I upload an image, the tool asks me if it needs alternative text and gives guidance on how to write it. When I upload a video, the tool suggests that I add transcripts, captions, and descriptions as appropriate.
People who post multimedia content need tools that can create accessible images, audio, and video. This includes adding alternative texts to images, as well as transcripts, captions, and description for videos as appropriate.
The Accessibility Standard to Help You
Your social media tool is sometimes called an “authoring tool” because people use it to share content with their family, friends, colleagues, and followers. There is an international standard that addresses accessibility needs in social media tools: Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG).
Use ATAG to help make your tool:
- accessible to content creators (Part A)
- support accessible content for content consumers (Part B)
To get started putting ATAG to work for you, see:
- Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) Overview, with links to the ATAG standard and Implementing ATAG
- ATAG at a Glance, a paraphrased summary to give you an idea of what’s covered in ATAG