Social media is a massive space of information sources and connections. People are often glued to their phones because they always want to get the latest trending topics. Others simply would want to be entertained by memes or discover and learn new things.
The vast majority of people don’t have any problem keeping up but for those people with disabilities, it can take more time and effort for them to get access and absorb each information they got on their screens.
Fortunately, there are ways to make internet consumption easier by the use of accessibility tools. These tools serve as an aid to guide mostly vision-impaired or hard of hearing individuals in knowing the right information and remove the fear of missing out, enabling them to experience as close as what the actual media content is in reality.
Use Image Descriptions
Image description also known as alternative text is an accessibility tool that describes what the picture looks like by an AI narrating aloud. This is perfect for people with vision or reading impairment such as dyslexia, blindness as well as other cognitive dysfunctions.
To get the best idea about the image, it is necessary to include details like the type of image post (real-life, edited pictures, painting, memes, image with texts and etcetera.), colors or patterns, people or animals, and what are the things or actions that are present, as it can help people grasp not only the visible imagery but the sense of feeling involved.
Use Captions for Videos
Captions are the written texts in video posts. People of low hearing to none can utilize this to their advantage. It is important to include detailed and close to accurate descriptions of the video they are watching.
Although this is a common way for deaf people to use, blind people can also benefit from it through screen readers provided that it is compatible with the embedded software. However, it is crucial to remember that captions should undergo thorough tests since there are instances it can produce some inaccuracy in texts.
Write Hashtags in Camel case
In simple terms camel case is the style of writing text that uses upper or lower case letters at the start of each word. Words like FedEx and iPhone are popular examples. Even though it isn’t widely used in social media platforms to write hashtags, it is a practical method among many internet citizens especially for those who have vision impairment.
Screen readers that are often utilized by blind people can easily read and recognize words faster since each of them already starts with an upper case letter.
Let’s say, #socialmediaislife may not be reader-friendly to some but when you incorporate camel case it will become, #SocialMediaIsLife, which is a whole lot better and easier to understand. Most importantly, it will eliminate the confusion about the whole message that the person wants to convey to the audience.
Use Emojis Sparingly
There is no denying that emojis add so much life to social media posts. They are cute and colorful cartoony representations of people, animals, places, and objects that are placed either at the front, last, or in between words or sentences.
For a laughing emoji, screen readers may read it aloud as “laughing face.” Even though it is recognizable, it is essential to note that bombarding the post with emojis will only create information misunderstanding and delay for people with vision disabilities.
It is advised to limit its use as much as possible as they serve to only accent the idea of the post.
These accessibility tools are a huge benefit not only for people with vision or hearing disorders but also for everyone who wants more convenience in their day-to-day social media or digital browsing.
Without even realizing it, they create awareness that the world is not one-sided and everyone deserves to have access to all sorts of information may it be via the internet or other sources.
Additionally, every human being has the capacity to contribute to society, regardless of what their status or condition is. One day, these inventions will change and end digital literacy discrimination and embrace the unique differences everyone navigates through them.