When we think about ADA compliance, it is mostly in the realm of brick-and-mortar stores and their accessibility to consumers with disabilities. Rarely do we consider making our social media posts ADA compliant.
ADA, or the Americans with Disabilities Act, was signed into law in 1990 and has evolved over time to include website accessibility options. Just as we would make our physical store or our website accessible, as marketers, we need to also create our social media posts in that same way. Whether it is Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn, what we post represents our brand, our products, and our business, and we want all three to be open and available to any consumer.
But how do we make something in the digital space compliant for users who have some form of a disability? Here is a brief overview of how to make your social media posts ADA compliant.
Images: Adding alternative text, or alt text, to each image helps those with visual impairments by providing a description of the image if they are using a screen reader. Alt text works on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and Twitter and all offer the option before you post. However, you can also go back into the image and edit the alt text at any time.
In addition to including alt text on your images, be sure that those same images use a color contrast that is easy for most people to view. For example, a pink background with peach lettering may be pretty, but most people may have a hard time reading anything on that image due to poor color contrast. It’s just not reading text on images, but any image contrast that may be too dark or too grainy.
Videos: Adding captions to your videos is not only a way to keep them accessible for those who may have a hard time hearing, but reading captions is also a heavily preferred method of watching videos, especially for those who consume video content in public spaces.
For those who are hearing impaired, creating a video transcript is a fantastic way to allow them to engage with the video through text. Video scripts also make for great content on your website and may give it an SEO boost.
Fonts: Much like the color contrast of our photos, fonts need to be considered in keeping our social media posts ADA compliant. The font being used should have a good color contrast against the background of the image, be clean and easy to read (stay away from many of those script fonts), and large enough for those who are visually impaired. Remember, many people will look at your content on a phone or tablet, or even a small computer screen, so make it easy for the eyes to read.
By making your brand’s social media ADA compliant, you are opening the door to an entire customer base who is ready and willing to spend their hard-earned dollars with you and who want to engage and interact with your brand. It just takes a few simple steps to make that happen.