UH Hilo Social Media

Accessibility on Social Media

UH Hilo encourages all social media content creators to take some thoughtful steps, such as using text fields to convey complete descriptions, including alternate text, and providing captions for videos. These steps will ensure that the content published on social media is accessible to all, including those using screen readers or other assistive devices.


Write Accessible Posts

  • Use a URL shortener to minimize the number of characters in the hyperlink.
  • Place hashtags at the end of posts:
    • In Facebook, put hashtags after the photo caption or description, or in a comment if you have many hashtags.
    • Put mentions and hashtags at the end of your tweets.
  • Capitalize the first letter of each word in a hashtag to improve its readability.
  • Do not use abbreviations in posts. Not everyone is familiar with the abbreviations we use, including language translation software.

Provide Alternative Text

Always provide relevant alternative text when you post social media images.

  • Facebook and Instagram add machine-generated alt text automatically but you can, and should, edit it.
  • LinkedIn supports adding descriptive alt text to images.
  • Turn on alternative text for images in the Twitter account settings.
  • Do not accept the machine-generated alt text without checking it to see if you can provide more context for screen reader users.

Caption Videos

Captions are necessary when you post videos on social media.

  • Add a caption file, or use YouTube’s captioning services for Facebook videos.
  • Use the post’s description area to add alternative text to caption video posts in Instagram.
  • Use closed captioning when sharing a video on LinkedIn (available from the desktop site).
  • Turn on alternative text for images in the Twitter account settings.


Instagram ( Inaccessible)

The post below is an example of an inaccessible Instagram post. The graphic contains words that are not available to non-sighted users. For example, a text-to-speech screen reader would find no information to convey to a visitor.

Also, don't forget the ʻokina in Hawaiʻi.

Instagram ( accessible)

This example instagram post is more accessible. Although it also uses text in the image (not recommended), that text is also available in the caption for visitors, such as non-sighted users who rely on assistive technologies like screen readers.