#11: Making it up as I go

Hello, yes, I'm back and still chaotic

I have returned to fill your inbox with chaotic goodness. Taking April off from my normal content creation didn’t quite go as planned (Twitter owns my ass), but it still gave me room to think about everything I’m currently juggling.

When I started Accessible Social in January, I was trying very hard to emulate what was already out there. Several of my talented friends and peers have successful newsletters that they publish on a consistent schedule with equally consistent content and formatting.

I don’t think anyone would ever describe me as consistent. I’m more of a chaos girl, and now I’m going to make my own chaotic rules.

Accessible Social, despite being relatively short, is actually rather a lot for me to do every week. Sometimes I even struggle to find content to fill the sections, which is why I’m making Accessible Social a monthly newsletter instead of a weekly one. It will go out on the first Monday of every month. I’m also changing up the content. Everything will basically fall into two categories after my introductory letter: the good and the bad. Any updates I may have will go at the end.

If you want to abandon ship due to these course adjustments, I will understand, but it also won’t affect how I’ve decided to do things now. The past year has taught me that it’s important to listen to my brain when it starts sending out stress signals.


The Good Stuff from April

So much news about upcoming caption features! It’s almost as if social media platforms are finally realizing that deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals also enjoy being online.

Captions Coming to TikTok

The long-awaited rollout of captions on TikTok is finally happening!

Captions Also Coming to Facebook

Facebook has started experimenting with a captions feature for stories. And yes, I know this is technically from March, but it was revealed after the last issue of Accessible Social.

Yo Adrián, You Did It!

And a little love for open captions. Aviation American Gin recently used them in a cute and cheeky way when they teamed up with LeVar Burton for a recent spot. I’ve heard that Aviation’s Brand Marketing Manager is rather good, too.

Best Practices for Captions

My friend Meryl will always be one of my go-to people when it comes to doing captions the right way. She created really great guidelines to help everyone get better at writing captions that I highly recommend checking out.

Biden Prioritizes Accessibility

It was nice to see the Biden Administration not only make the President’s recent joint address more accessible (as it always should be) but also share that information head of time.

The Bad Stuff from April

This Isn’t Winning, Winn Dixie

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Winn Dixie in a recent case and increased the confusion around how much power the ADA has over the websites and apps of businesses. This was truly a step back for digital accessibility.

Tankslapper Moment for Formula

Politicians and sports leagues really do love their flattened copy. This time it was Formula 1 doing the bad thing that y’all know I hate so much.

Not only is there no alt text on this image, but the tweet also fails to link out to a place where the full statement is available in a readable format, and the all-caps formatting is even hard for a sighted person to read. As I’ve repeatedly said before, there are much better ways to share statements like this.

Bit of a Grey Area

Queen Elizabeth’s husband died and all of Great Britain went into mourning including the National Rail network. Unfortunately, their mourning method of choice—shifting their entire website to greyscale—caused a number of issues for disabled users. My friend Ashlee wrote a great thread on it, but her “too long didn’t read” summary was also pretty good: WTF.

Still No Captions for Clubhouse

Despite announcing several new features for the app, Clubhouse still hasn’t shared any intentions of making the platform accessible for users who need captions. Truly disappointing for as popular as it is.

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 hello@therealalexa.com or you can DM me on Twitter. My inbox is always open!

Scroll Stoppers

These bits of wisdom made me immediately stop and think harder. Hopefully, they get your brain fired up as well.

Mark Your Calendar

I got things and stuff coming up! On May 12th I’ll be giving a pop culture-themed presentation on digital accessibility for my friend Brianne’s #PopChat Happy Hour. Based on the images I’ve sourced for this one, it’s guaranteed to be hilarious.

May 20th this year marks Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), an annual event that aims to get everyone talking, learning, and thinking more about accessibility. Much like last year, I’ll have tweets going out all day to help the cause and I encourage everyone to follow the #GAAD hashtag on Twitter.

In June I’ll be presenting at two different conferences that I’m excited to participate in. First up on June 16th is the All Day All Night Conference, a 24-hour phenomenon for social and digital professionals working in higher education.

The very next day on June 17th I’ll be a speaker for Social Fresh’s Virtual Conference alongside some very impressive people including several of my wonderful and talented friends.

Secrets, secrets are no fun unless you share with everyone! This logic also applies to newsletters and your Netflix login.