Social Media and the ANGST of Accessibility

Jacqui van Teulingen - AGIMO
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In the “Integrating Online Services with your existing Community Engagement Strategy” conference last week, along with John Sheridan’s Taming Twitter Terrorism, I presented some insights and the top five tips when using social media to engage with people. Accessibility needs frequently confound people. This can result in inaction. Through inaction, we create exclusion. To avoid this, I offer some ideas to ensure accessibility needs can be met, thus promoting inclusion.

Much of the use of social media continues to create barriers for participation at almost every step from the sign up, join in, log on process, to the content we present and in the conversations in which we engage. This doesn’t need to be the case. There are things you can do right now to make your engagement more accessible:

  1. Keep it simple - ensure the sign up process is simple and keyboard accessible;
  2. Stop spam, not people – provide accessible CAPTCHAs or use an alternative;
  3. Implement accessible tools – provide accessible widgets; link to accessible interface options;
  4. Provide text alternatives - descriptions for images; captions for videos and transcriptions for podcasts; and
  5. Multi use your content – ensure your content can be read elsewhere in alternative forms.
Full speech text and presentation slides

I’d like to hear of your own experiences in developing social media strategies that are inclusive of everyone and maybe make a top ten list!


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Last updated: 01 August 2016