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February 2020

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Good morning <<First Name>>,

Well, we are now well and truly in 2020! January seemed to fly by (with the exception of the very hot days in Perth that seemed to just drag on and on!). We hope you are getting back in the swing of things now, and hope this month's e-newsletter on a topic I think we can all relate to- social media. As mentioned last month, we thought it might be time for a bit of a "refresh" on our e-newsletter, and hope you enjoy the new format as much as we do. If you encounter any accessibility issues, please let us know, as we want everyone to have access to the valuable information in these monthly emails.

Accessible Social Media

14th February 2020 by Amanda Mace

Social media was built to bring people together; it has the word ‘social’ in it for a reason. This culturally important form of communication can present new challenges and even introduce new barriers for people with disabilities. Fortunately, many of the big social media players are now on-board and are providing methods to ensure full inclusion on their platforms. Here are my Top 5 Accessible Social Media tips.

Tip number 1 - Add Alt Text

Facebook adds AI (Artificial Intelligence) powered auto-generated alt text automatically. It provides general information such as the back to school photo of my children on Facebook that says “3 people, people smiling, people standing.” The technology has the ability to identify cars, trees, water, or people etc. Facebook also provides the ability to edit the auto-generated alt text to add something more descriptive and meaningful.
Twitter incorporates alt text with images in a tweet, but requires the user to access “Settings” to enable the feature. Access is: Settings > General > Accessibility > and enable Compose image descriptions.
Instagram provides users with an easy to select ‘Edit Alt Text’ when editing a post. Add the alt text via Advanced settings.
If your favourite social media platforms don’t allow you to add alt text, you can describe the photo as part of your post.

Tip number 2 – Caption videos

YouTube’s auto-captioning feature makes captioning a video much easier. While this technology is improving, users do need to continue to check for errors.
Whether you add your own caption file (SRT file) or use YouTube’s auto-captioning services try use best practice for captions. “Best practice” is ensuring all words spoken by characters and/or the narrator are captioned and  includes words to  songs. Describe sound events that may impact a story or meaning and use a san serif font, such as Arial or Helvetica for ease of  reading.

Tip number 3 – Use emojis sparingly

Emojis (emotive icons) include alt text which is important for users who use screen readers. You can add the heart emoji to the end of a post, but one is sufficient, otherwise multiple audio occurrences of the emoji result.

Tip number 4 - When using multiple-word hashtags, capitalise the first letter in each word

This will ensure it is universally readable and especially helpful for screen reader users. As a result, the screen reader will have be able to correctly interpret “#JoinTheHuddle” instead of “#jointhehuddle” or “#JOINTHEHUDDLE.”

Tip number 5 - Place hashtags and @mentions at the end of your post

A simple adjustment ensures the main part of the post can be read without interruption.
With great social media, comes great responsibility! I hope these few tips will help you on your accessibility journey and #UnlockTheWeb!

Talk to us today about how you can include everyone in your website and social media

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Certificate in Digital Accessibility

We are running our next certificate course in May. It is held at ATI Mirage in Perth from 9:00am – 4:00pm. This certificate level program covers all major aspects of Digital Accessibility over five one-day sessions on consecutive weeks. An organisation that fills all five days qualifies for an organisational certificate.  An individual who takes all five days qualifies for a personal certificate and, if they are an ACS member, they also gain professional development hours. More information on this course is on this page on our website.

If you are interested, please email us at Web Key IT.


Australian Accessibility Conference 2020

Last week, we were proud to be sponsors of the Australian Accessibility Conference, on our home turf of Perth, WA! It was a wondrously successful amalgamation of the annual OZeWAI Conference and Perth Web Accessibility Camp held at VisAbility in Victoria Park. We had a great team presence and loved hearing so many passionate speakers on the changes we can make in the world of accessibility. A big thank you to everyone at VisAbility, plus all the amazing speakers and sponsors. You can see the videos from the conference on the OZeWAI Youtube Channel, it may just take a few days for them to finalise the captioning.

Below is a photo of just some of our team (we were so busy networking, we never got a picture of everyone who came!!) from Day 1 of the conference.

Photo of Christie, Amanda, Zel, Anjali and Emma at the Accessibility Conference


Upcoming Events  Calendar icon


CSUN Assistive Technology Conference
9th-13th March 2020
Anaheim, California, USA
More information on CSUN here

Monthly Perth Web Accessibility & Inclusive Design Meetup
(On Break)
17th of March, 2020
Dome Cafe
149 James Street, Northbridge WA
Read more about the Accessibility Meetup group

Web4All (W4A) 2020 Conference
20th-21st April 2020
Taipei, Taiwan
More information on W4A2020 here

The Web Conference (WWW)
20th-24th April 2020
Taipei, Taiwan
More information on TWC here

UXR Conference
3rd-5th June 2020
Toronto, Canada
More information here

UX Australia
25th-26th August 2020
Melbourne, Australia
More information here
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