If I could choose one industry to completely overhaul in terms of accessible social media, it would be politics and the government. There are so many elected officials who are extremely active online but don’t know the first thing about alt text or #CamelCase hashtags or why they should be captioning literally every video they post on social media.
But we can change that.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez @AOCGood morning everyone! 🌞 I’m teaching my once-a-term digital / social media session for members of Congress today. Help me help them! What do you wish you saw more of digitally from your elected officials? Who’s doing a great job that you think others can learn from? Lmk ⬇️
While I’m actively leaning on the White House accounts to create more inclusive social media content, there’s only so much I can do as one person. That’s why I’m calling on my friends and followers to do what they can to reach out to their elected officials and their digital teams. Show them how easy it is to create accessible social media content. More importantly, show them why it’s a crucial step towards a more inclusive online world.
Personally, I feel like government leaders actively learning and talking about digital accessibility for social media would be an outstanding way to celebrate my 30th birthday on March 10th. Progress is always a great gift.
Digital Accessibility Win of the Week
Okay, McDonald’s, I’m lovin’ it. The fast-food chain showed exactly how to embrace digital accessibility by not only captioning the online version of their Super Bowl commercial but also using their brand colors and font for those captions. I wasn’t kidding when I previously said that being accessible doesn’t mean you can’t also be creative.
Also, I may or may not have screamed after McDonald’s Head of Social tweeted me with this little nugget.
Digital Accessibility Fail of the Week
Amazon, why must you do this to me? Was it not enough that you claimed my name and subjected me to routine jokes? Must you also tie my name to horribly inaccessible tweets as well?
ASCII art is not an accessible social media strategy, sadly, and I do not recommend digital marketers using it in their content. And just look how jacked that illustration became anyway! Definitely a pass for me.
Have you recently spotted a major digital accessibility win or fail on social media? Send it to me! I might just feature it in my next newsletter. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can DM me on Twitter. My inbox is always open!
You Should Retweet This
TikTok users and content creators have become more vocal about the need for captioning capabilities for the popular app. You may have noticed that more and more creators have been improvising with their closed captioning on their videos, but that shouldn’t be their responsibility. If TikTok really values its users, it will find a way to make the app more accessible for everyone.
Word of Advice
Stop putting a string of emojis in your Twitter name. Seriously.
The longer you make your Twitter name, the longer it takes a screen reader to read it. Your Twitter name gets read every single time a screen reader user taps a tweet of yours, so it’s best to keep it as simple as possible. Your name, perhaps a prefix or suffix if you have professional credentials, and pronouns if you feel so inclined, will do. One emoji at most if you’re really adamant about showcasing one. Throw the rest in your Twitter bio where they’ll get read less often. Don’t make your Twitter name longer than necessary.
Looking for an easy way to double-check your social media content before posting it? Download my handy checklist and make sure you always have the basics of digital accessibility for social media covered!
One Last Thing
“Disabled” and “disability” are not dirty words. You can say them. You should say them, especially when they are accurate descriptors for a person or situation. And Nike for sure should be using the word disabled when it talks about its new Go FlyEase shoes, which were designed specifically for the disabled community.
Secrets, secrets are no fun unless you share with everyone! This logic also applies to newsletters and your Netflix login.