Social Media

University of Guelph faculty, staff, and students across campus use social media to present and disseminate information widely. It is our job, as faculty and staff members at the university, to ensure that our social media presence is as accessible as possible. In recent years, there’s been a rise in social media use, especially for use in higher education. Unfortunately, social platforms remain relatively inaccessible simply because users often are not aware of how to make their posts accessible. Anyone using a screen reader may have difficulty navigating social media due to lack of headers, no keyboard shortcuts, no alternate text for images, poor colour contrast, and videos with no closed captioning, descriptive transcript, or keyboard controls.

A Guide to Accessible Social Media  will enable you to develop accessible content for various social media platforms often used in higher education, including:

  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn

Keep in mind that social media companies alter the features on their platforms constantly; as a result, these tips and methods can change frequently.

Prepared by Matisse Hamel-Nelis

How you can Create More Accessible Pinterest Content  Some may assume that people who are blind or have visual disabilities won’t use Pinterest because of its imagery-based content. This line of thinking, similar to the myth that people who are blind simply don’t use computers, is incorrect. As the fourth most popular social media platform in America, with 77.4 million monthly users, it must be realized that there are Pinners who are blind or have other disabilities that impact the way they use the web.

Making matters even more pertinent, in April, Pinterest went public and is now traded on the New York Stock Exchange. If revenues and users grow at a faster rate, the platform’s influence may also expand, meaning that creating accessible Pinterest content is more important now than ever.

Since Pinterest’s content comes from its users, knowing some accessibility tips and tricks can be very helpful. Here are some elements to prioritize to create accessible Pinterest content:

  • Color contrast of images that contain text: Although you may want to keep images of text on your pin to a minimum, when you do use text, check its contrast against your image’s background. Is it easily readable? Or does it blend in with the background? Also check that the contrast seems balanced, and that the colors are not too bright or extreme.
  • Text size: When using text, utilize larger, bolder type fonts. Aim for the top or the middle of your pin so that it’s easier to locate.
  • Include alt text: For web images pinned to Pinterest, the alt text is pulled as the default caption. Including it ensures screen readers can interpret the image’s content for people who are blind or visually impaired.
  • Image size and quality: The larger, the better! You’ll want to use images that are at least 600 pixels wide, to align with Pinterest’s preferred 2:3 ratio. Also be sure to analyze the quality of your imagery. Is it in focus? Do people have to strain to make out what’s in it?
  • Consider your linked site: Is the content on the website you’re linking to also accessible? Use these points as a checklist and make modifications if possible. If not, are there other sites you can link to instead?

June 3, 2019 Bureau of Internet Accessibility

Subtitles are now available in iOS and Android. If the video you're watching has subtitles, you'll be able to see them on iOS and Android if your device's sound is turned off, or on web by clicking on the "cc" toggle. By default, the subtitles will hide when the video is expanded, as this action enables sound playback.

How do subtitles work?

  • Click on a video within your Media Studio library.

  • Select the "Subtitles" tab in the pop-up window.

  • Select the text language of your subtitle file from the dropdown menu.

  • Click the "Upload" button and select the sidecar .SRT file from your local computer.

  • The file is now associated with you video. To update the file, click the Pencil icon.

March 28, 2019 Twitter

LinkedIn is constantly working on improving the accessibility and usability of its platform. Here are some of the improvements at LinkedIn on the accessibility front:

Learn about Facebook's accessibility features and technologies. This includes using the navigation assistant, keyboard shortcuts, closed captions, adding alternative text to photos and more.

How do I edit the alternative text for a photo on Facebook?  This article provides information on how to see and edit alt text for a photo before you post it on Instagram and change the alt text of a photo after you've already posted it on Instagram.