Digital Media Accessibility
It is critical to Lewis & Clark’s branding efforts that your content be accessible to all. Please help us create digital spaces that are welcoming by following these guidelines! If you see anywhere we could be doing a better job making our content accessible, please reach out to Marketing Manager Devan Freeman.
- Always add a caption to your image so screen readers—assistive technology primarily used by people with vision impairments—can pick it up as alternative text and convert it into speech or Braille.
- Never upload a graphic without a caption, or PDFs to display content on your webpages. The text within the PDF is often inaccessible to screen readers. Special Note: Exceptions can be made when circumstances necessitate including links to a PDF for legal documents and/or policies. For more information, please contact Director of New Media Morgan Grether.
- Similarly, don’t upload an image that contains valuable information (like a graphic or flyer created on Canva) without also including the content as regular text on the page or in the image caption.
- Use plain language, avoiding jargon without definition. It is important to remember that your content could be seen by many different types of people, including non-native English speakers or folks who are unfamiliar with our institution.
- When using acronyms, spell out what you are referring to.
- If you write a long paragraph of text, break it out into digestible chunks for the reader.
- Before posting a video, make sure it includes captions. Instagram is able to caption any video (while in Reels or Stories mode). To enable this feature, select the stickers section at the top of your recorded story. Then, select the captions sticker to automatically transcribe the audio of your video. Now you can post this video to your stories or download the video and add it as a post to your main feed.
- Include image descriptions or alternative text (alt text), especially when posting graphics. Be concise in your description. In addition, you should read your description out loud before posting and ask yourself, “Could my audience understand valuable information from the description, even if the image itself were absent?” Learn more about this in Alt-texts: The Ultimate Guide, written by a web developer with vision impairment.
- Make any hashtags you include as readable as possible by using both uppercase and lowercase letters. For example, instead of #PIOTHEDOG, try #PioTheDog.
- Only use fonts that are standard for the platform you are posting on. Be aware that screen readers will voice the font names and styles. (To hear what we mean, check out what happens when a screen reader encounters a tweet with lots of specialty fonts.)
When creating graphics for social media, ensure that your fonts are easy to read. The Office of Communications is happy to help you with this if you need assistance. We also recommend you check out our Visual Identity Guide for branding guidance.
Keep emojis to a minimum. Screen readers will say the meanings of your emojis out loud, so be sure to add a space between them—just as you would if they were words.
- If you’re interested in learning more about accessibility and inclusivity in social media, this article from Hootsuite is a great place to start.