I’ve never met someone who doesn’t love a delicious box of Girl Scout cookies. Honestly, there’s a cookie for just about everyone now, even the gluten-intolerant, and I personally like knowing that I’m helping to empower little girls and their dreams.
Before the pandemic, I didn’t realize that you could order boxes of Girl Scout cookies online—which has been both a blessing and a curse for me—and a lot of scouts have been doing their sales through their own online pages to continue raising money and making sure that customers can safely get their delicious treats.
Wouldn’t it suck if the Girl Scouts organization didn’t make these incredibly practical adjustments and you didn’t have access to ordering cookies? Apply that logic to digital accessibility. By not being inclusive with your social media, you’re more than likely blocking disabled users from content they want, content they love, content that could be benefiting them.
Now imagine we’re not talking about something frivolous like cookies. What if instead of cookies, we’re talking about healthcare updates, election information, crisis communications, or scholarship details? Do you really want to withhold that kind of information from people?
Create accessible content and stop excluding disabled users from the conversation.
Digital Accessibility Win of the Week
I was recently introduced to Develop With Amina, a writer, software engineer, and accessibility advocate who creates these amazing YouTube videos on a variety of topics. Not only are her videos captioned, but they also include an interpreter who signs in British Sign Language (BSL).
Now that’s what I call inclusive social media content! Make sure you subscribe to Amina’s YouTube channel and follow her on social media.
Digital Accessibility Fail of the Week
Joe, you were doing so well. Seriously, the POTUS Twitter account has been consistently adding alt text to its images for the last couple of weeks, but then it went and did this, one of my biggest pet peeves on social media.
Not only is there no alt text on either of these images, but the tweet also doesn’t link to the full readable statement that was available on the White House website, which would have been helpful. There are a lot of alternatives that the Biden digital team could have gone with here. Check out my little Twitter rant from last week to learn more about posting long statements on social media.
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
This week’s recommended piece for retweeting isn’t about digital accessibility, but it is about inclusion and fighting for the rights and respect of other people. The Asian American and Pacific Islander community is under attack. It is unacceptable that we stay quiet about the injustices that marginalized people face in this country, and I urge everyone to read Eric Toda’s moving piece on the subject. And if you can, please consider donating to Asian Americans Advancing Justice.
Word of Advice
Get familiar with the screen reader built into your SmartPhone. If you’re an Apple devotee, the screen reader is found in the settings and called VoiceOver. If you’re an Android user, you’ll be looking for TalkBack in the accessibility suite. Actively using your screen reader is a great way to figure out if your social media content is actually accessible or needs a little work. It will also give you a better idea of how blind and visually impaired users navigate online spaces and interact with digital content.
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
I recently sat down (via Zoom) with Megan Powers and Jen Cole from the Making a Marketer podcast and talked about the importance of digital accessibility for their 75th episode. If you have a few minutes, be sure to give it a listen!
Secrets, secrets are no fun unless you share with everyone! This logic also applies to newsletters and your Netflix login.