How accessible is social media for someone with sight loss?

Many aspects of social media are very visual, with an emphasis on the sharing of images, photographs and videos. However, social media companies have worked hard to ensure that their platforms are accessible to people with sight loss.

All social media platforms make it possible for users to add alternative text (alt text) to describe their pictures, so you can hear a summary of what is featured in the image. Many have also started using object recognition software to add alt text to pictures, ensuring an audio description is available for all images. You can find out more about automatic alt text on The Verge website.

These other options listed below can also be used:

  • Audio described: A form of narration that descries visual elements of a video, making it accessible to blind and partially sighted people
  • Audio led: When a video sends the same message, both audibly and visually
  • Camel Case: Capitalising the first letter of each word in a hashtag, to ensure that it’s read properly by screen readers
  • Image description: A written description which describes the visual details of an image. It serves the same purpose as alt text, but is placed in the body of a post, after the copy
  • Video description: A detailed, written description of a video, describing the visual elements.

Please also see How can I make social media more accessible?

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