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Digital Communications


Social Media

As online communities have become an important means of social interaction and community participation, ensuring their universal accessibility is essential for social inclusion at the University of West Florida. Providing accessible content to those who are deaf, blind or visually impaired is a high priority for our University and we are committed to adhering to the highest standards of accessibility for those individuals. All social media accounts and content should be correctly designed, developed and edited, in order for all users to have equal access to information and functionality.

All social media content developed and shared by University accounts must comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Individuals with disabilities use technologies such as screen readers, captioning software and other devices that enable them to hear or read the content on their device.

Because we have limited technical control over social media platforms and posted content, social media is not 100% accessible. Please follow these social media accessibility best practices to make a good faith effort to comply with Section 508 guidelines:

  • Most major social media platforms have accessibility help pages that provide directions on how to make content uploaded as accessible as possible.
  • Photos posted on social media outlets should contain alternative text descriptions. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all have the ability to edit and custom make alt text captions retroactively.
  • Graphics posted should contain very little text as to not crowd the graphic and to stay within Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0.
    • Avoid placing text on a graphic. Instead, text should always be incorporated into the caption. Alternative text is helpful for a subset of visually impaired users, but some users magnify content instead of using screen readers. Magnified images containing text become blurry and unreadable.
    • Posters, invitations, postcards and other media that are designed for print should not be used on social media. Print materials are not designed for web applications as they contain embedded text and their linear structure often does not correspond well to social media or websites. As much written content as possible needs to be provided in typed out HTML format to be accessible, but not on the graphic itself.
  • It is always best to use the full department name. When only the acronym is used for the department name it can be confusing to screen readers.
  • When using hashtags, capitalize the first letter of each word within the hashtag. Ex. #GoArgos or #ArgoNation
  • All videos posted on social video should include closed captioning and a transcript. Export a .srt caption file and a “burned in” captioned video for each project. SRT files should be named VIDEONAME_en_US.srt.
    • Many social media platforms do not support transcript files or have automatic captioning. Host your videos through Youtube, which allows for captions and links transcript files. Users can then click through the social media platform to view on Youtube if they need the additional accessibility accommodations.
    • Videos posted on YouTube must have an audio description created via YouDescribe within one week after upload.
    • YouTube also allows you to upload a text file, or transcribe your video in real time.
    • Resources: Premiere Pro Captioning Tutorial
    • Please see our Confluence page for more information on Accessible Recorded Audio and Video.