What is Accessibility?

Accessibility is the practice of designing and creating content that can be accessed and used by people with different abilities and preferences. It’s important that your content is inclusive for your audience, which is why we’re sharing some great advice on how to make your content accessible for people with disabilities, and users who rely on assistive technologies such as screen readers, magnifiers and keyboards.

Tip 1 – Use clear and concise language

Avoid using jargon, slang, acronyms and abbreviations – this may confuse or exclude your readers. It’s always best to use clear, plain language that is easy to understand and follow, and make sure the text is punctuated, capitalised and grammatically correct. Instead of writing in passive voice, we also recommend that you write in an active voice. For example, “Creative62 published an article on accessibility best practices”.

Tip 2 – Add alternative text to images and videos

Alt-Text is a brief description of an image that is read aloud by screen readers, and helps people to visualise an image when it cannot be loaded. This helps people who are blind or who have low vision, to better understand the content and context of an image. It should be written in a descriptive, relevant, and concise style. An example of Alt-Text for the image above would be, ‘Two young people holding colourful balloons and smiling at each other”.

Tip 3 – Use hashtags and emojis sparingly and appropriately

Hashtags and emojis can add personality and engagement to your social media posts, but they also create barriers for some users.

Hashtags are difficult to read and pronounce for screen readers, so it’s best to avoid long, complex tags. Only use hashtags when they are relevant or meaningful, and separate words in hashtags by capitalising the first letter of each word, which will help make it easier to read and pronounce. Finally, avoid using too many hashtags, as they can clutter the screen and distract from the main message.

Emojis can be confusing and misleading for many people with cognitive or visual impairments, as well as for readers who use different platforms or devices. Provide a text equivalent for emojis that convey information or emotion. You should avoid using emojis that are ambiguous, offensive or culturally insensitive, and test your emojis on different platforms and devices to ensure they are displayed correctly and consistently.

Tip 4 – Use colour contrast and legible fonts

Make your posts easier to read for people who have colour blindness, low vision, or dyslexia, by choosing high contrast colours and fonts for your text and backgrounds. Avoid using colour alone to convey a meaning, or a text colour that is too similar to the background. Use fonts that are clear and large enough to be seen, and if you highlight an important piece of text, make sure it’s noticeable by making it bold.

Tip 5 – Videos and audio

Add captions or transcripts to your videos and audio clips for users with hearing challenges, but also for people who prefer to read rather than listen. Where possible, avoid flashing or excessive moving elements that may trigger seizures or distract attention. If you do use them, always provide a warning notice at the beginning, with an option to turn them off.

And finally, the best advice…
Test your content with different devices and accessibility tools. You can use online tools like WebAIM or WAVE to check for accessibility issues and get suggestions on how to fix them. But best of all, welcome feedback from people with different abilities and preferences who use screen readers, keyboard navigation, or magnification technology.

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