I recently had a conversation with a good friend of mine about allyship and knowing your place when it comes to advocacy. Despite how passionate I am about educating others about digital accessibility best practices for social media, I struggle every day over whether or not I’m going about doing this the right way.
Am I an expert? Absolutely. Am I the expert? Absolutely not, and it makes me incredibly uncomfortable when people act as if I am. There are so many brilliant individuals out there advocating for the same thing I am, many of whom are in fact disabled. Their voices and experiences will always be more important than mine. Being a good ally means putting the cause and the people impacted by it first. Always and without hesitation.
I’m not the Queen of Accessibility. Far from it, really. Like everyone else, there will always be more for me to learn.
The Good Stuff from May
Captions Sticker Released for Instagram Stories
Instagram’s captions sticker for Stories moved from internal testing to an official rollout and will soon be available for Reels, too.
YouTube Beefed Up Their Translation Experience
You can now browse video titles in your native tongue. Access comes in many forms, and language can play a part in that.
Add Your Pronouns to Your Instagram
While pronouns don’t necessarily make your profile more accessible, they do make it more inclusive, which is equally important.
Apple Watch Gets an Upgrade
Apple has made it easier to check the notifications on your watch by simply using hand gestures.
Twitter Spaces Keeps Getting Better
Not only is Twitter Spaces now available on desktop, but the team who continue to develop the feature have consistently made it clear that accessibility is a priority for them, and transcriptions are in the works!
YouTube Uses ASCII Art Cheat
It’s nice to see a major platform that understands how to make ASCII art accessible. If you’re not aware of the workaround, you screenshot the illustration, add it to your tweet or post as an image, and then write alt text for it. Boom, accessible ASCII art.
YouTube @YouTubeWhat’s the last channel you subscribed to? https://t.co/JjLlbG0tT4
Creators Captioning Their Videos More Frequently
Speaking of YouTube, since they pulled their Community Captions feature last year, more creators have apparently started making the effort to caption their own videos to make them accessible for deaf and hard of hearing users, which is how it should be.
The Bad Stuff from May
I get that it’s Dunkin Donuts, but someone should let them know that there is in fact a thing as too many donuts. This tweet they created for National Donuts Day is cute, but it’s a small nightmare for a screen reader user.
Company Claiming to Make Websites ADA Compliant Slammed
If you’re not familiar with AccessiBe and companies similar to it, they use overlays in an effort to make websites accessible. However, they cause more problems than solutions. Your website should be made accessible from the beginning; it shouldn’t be an afterthought that you try to fix with a band-aid like an overlay.
Appliances Don’t Have Braille Keypads
Now, this tweet isn’t actually bad. What Kristin does to make the world more accessible for her sons is wonderful, but the fact that she has to do it because the manufacturers don’t is disappointing. After reading her tweet, I immediately went and checked the appliances in my house because they’re only a few years old, and sure enough, their keypads don’t have Braille either.
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!
I find some of the best tips and resources on Twitter from other creators and advocates, and I want to share them with you, too!
These bits of wisdom and insightful reads made me immediately stop scrolling. Hopefully, they get your brain fired up as well.
Mark Your Calendar
Lots of good stuff happening in June!
June 15th: Perkins Access is teaming up with Katie Martell to host digital accessibility lessons from the team behind the 2021 Presidential Inauguration and Campaign!
June 16th: I’ll be presenting at the 24-hour All Day All Night Conference on the Flamingo Stage and talking about accessible social media content.
June 17th: Social Fresh is coming up, and I’m excited to be speaking alongside so many of my very talented friends.
June 22nd: The Public Affairs Council is hosting a Digital Media & Advocacy Summit, and I’ll be giving a short presentation with Erica Harris from PAC.
Secrets, secrets are no fun unless you share with everyone! This logic also applies to newsletters and your Netflix login.