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Greater Online Accessibility by Using Subtitles

Website Accessibility and 508 Accessibility Compliance

What are some ways to include accessibility in your online presence using subtitles? Read on!

Yes, this is a common issue most websites worldwide fail to meet to be accessible enough for their clients. According to a recent study, only 54% of organizations show that they are accessible enough, and the rest aren’t considering being so anytime soon. 

However, from a legal perspective, many adults worldwide experience some form of disability, and not offering full accessibility to them can be a severe issue. 

As a result, many major disability rights organizations are asking national websites and social media sites to be fully accessible by 2025. 

However, have you ever thought of how you can increase your social media accessibility? 

Let’s find out! 

Why is it essential to have online accessibility?

Accessibility is focusing on ways disabled people can take advantage of using your website, application, or social media site. Accessible online content can be presented through sound or sight. In addition, people with disabilities can use their keyboard controls and voice assistants in order to enhance usability. This way, whether you have a disability or not, you are equally using the services offered. 

Thus, here are some important reasons why accessibility is vital for your site and social media: 

  • Reaching a wider audience: Having more online accessibility can extend your reach to a more significant number of users. As we mentioned, nearly all organizations don’t fulfill the criteria for being accessible enough for disabled clients. In fact, according to statistics, 15% of people worldwide will experience some disability. The worst-case scenario is that if your site or social media channel isn’t accessible, it could limit you from engaging with more people worldwide. 
  • SEO ranking: You wouldn’t believe it, but accessibility will affect your search engine rankings, such as Google rankings. For your site to rank high, it’ll also be influenced by the user experience. The longer users stay on your site, the better it’ll be for your site’s ranking. 
  • Legal implications: Everyone in the world should enjoy the same usability access. By ignoring this, business owners are creating legal issues for themselves. For example, in the USA, you must follow the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), or you may face fines for not following these rules for people with disabilities.

Ways you can make your social media site more accessible 

Considering that a part of the world has some form of disability, social media is not as accessible as it should be. However, it’s becoming important in UX design and is usually considered an afterthought. However, it’s never too late to make amendments to your social media accessibility rate, and here are some tips you can follow to do so. 

Add video subtitles

You can consider transcribing your video content if you like to create videos on social media, such as TikTok or YouTube. This is great for viewers with hearing disabilities; nearly 20% of the global population has some hearing disability. 

So, what is a solution to this? To transcribe audio files and include subtitles. After all, if someone can’t hear well, subtitles are an excellent alternative to this. What should you do? You can use transcription software to generate subtitles for your video content. There are many great alternatives you can use; for instance, Happy Scribe’s subtitle generation software offers you subscription services of up to 99% accuracy. Nevertheless, there are many languages to choose from, so it’s always a good idea to add subtitles in the language your audience desires! 

Try to keep your language simple.

Try to avoid including lengthy and complex sentences. Keep things short and straightforward to increase readability rates. Long sentences will only increase complexity and make things harder to understand. Your readers are those with disabilities, so you want to be as simple as possible and avoid phrases and wordings that make readability harder. 

Add image captions 

Image captions are an effective way of helping readers visualize images even when they can’t see them. They share important information about an image and can spark a reader’s interest. Without captions, readers might make up their own stories about an image! 

Pay attention to the colors you use 

Text can be more challenging to read when it’s placed in the wrong colors and in the wrong positions of images. So instead, the best idea is to identify the text on top of a high-contrast background that will give high color contrasts against the image’s background. 

Try not to include GIFs. 

Social media platforms won’t allow you to add GIFs. Instead, you can add captions or text to describe what your GIF means. GIFs can give people a feeling whenever they try to discuss something. However, social platforms like WhatsApp allow you to use GIFs while texting. 

Nevertheless, we would avoid using them altogether since they can even cause seizures for some readers, so you don’t want to be the reason behind that! 

Avoid being a stereotype. 

Avoid using discriminatory language or phrases that give you biased views about people or groups. This is one of the top priorities you should have when trying to be accessible on social media. 

Avoid using emoticons in the text

Avoid using emoticons or special characters that screen-reading technology can’t read. This will only disturb the technology from correctly reading texts. Moreover, you should also avoid using full caps. Follow this rule every time you post on social media channels, mainly when you include images. 

Alternatively, you can consider using emojis since each has a matching text description for screen reading technologies. However, keep your limit because too many emojis can also become an issue for the screen reading technology. You can try using Emojipedia to find the exact meaning of each emoji you choose to include. 

Don’t forget to capitalize the first letters in your hashtags 

Don’t forget to capitalize the first word whenever you use a hashtag. The screen reader technology will have a much easier time reading and understanding the text than using a small letter in the beginning. 

Avoid using stylish fonts. 

Using custom fonts isn’t always a good idea if you want to differ from your competitors. Why so? Screen reading technology will usually skip through custom fonts, so they aren’t the most accessible alternative. Moreover, that’s why the best idea is to use fonts that are native on their social media platforms. 

Why is accessibility crucial for social media? 

Inclusive design is the key to increasing social media access. A social media strategy that considers this is what makes the design do the same. However, without any accessibility, you might be missing out on reaching your full potential. 

As we mentioned, nearly one-quarter of the world will face some type of disability. The number increases when we are talking about any temporary disabilities. Nevertheless, when people feel this way and don’t have the required social media accessibility, they won’t feel the proper user experience, which will only make them go away. After all, according to a study, more than 70% of visitors won’t complain but leave and never come back! 

Above all, keeping social media accessible means recognizing any exclusion of users. You might learn something new from them each day, and presenting information in the clearest way is vital. Whichever way it is, at the end of the day, you are doing your own duties and treating everyone equally as a marketer. 

Another study conducted by Google last year claimed that 64% of people took some action after they watched an ad they thought was inclusive. After all, almost everyone wants to see some inclusivity in ads. 

Wrapping everything up 

That’s all for this article. These were our tips on why it’s essential to increase your social media accessibility and overall accessibility on other sites. Your job as a marketer is to treat everyone equally and ensure that you comply with legal actions regarding disabilities people face. 

However, disabilities will differ amongst people; some may have life-long ones, while others can have temporary disabilities. Above all, they have the same rights as everyone else to enjoy the content you provide. Therefore, even though many websites don’t follow these rules, you must do so and ensure that your content is consumed equally by your viewers. 

This way, you will feel good that you are respecting the boundaries some users face and have the power to reach a broader audience.

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