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Making Your Content Accessible

Making Your Content Accessible
Making Your Content Accessible

Written by: Claire Dawkins

We know you want to spread the reach of your brand. So why are you limiting your audience by not making all of your content accessible? Computers, phones, and social media sites are always optimizing their content to make it accessible for everyone. So, let’s talk about the ways you can make your content reach all of your followers.

Making Text and Images Viewable for Colorblind People:

One of the easiest ways to make your content accessible is by catering to colorblind people. 4.5% of the population is colorblind, and this is a huge part of the market you could be losing out on (Silver, 2016). The first step is to take note of contrasting colors; there are many different forms of colorblindness; you may be familiar with red/colorblindness, one of the most common forms. Rachel Cravit provides great color wheels and resources on the website, Venngage for content creators and educators looking to make their content more accessible. Follow these color wheels, and you can guarantee all your content will be readable.

It is easy to make text readable with single colors, but what about a busy background. We love when companies overlay images of their products with text, but this can make it hard for colorblind people to read the text. When you are featuring a product, reduce the opacity of the background image or give your text a black box or drop shadow. These will make your text stand out. 

Finally, let’s talk about links. Usually, when embedding links into texts or posts, the links are a different color than everything else. Keeping your colorblind consumers in mind, make your link icons bold and obvious. Make sure your links can be identified with or without color. 

Putting Captions on Your Videos:

In the last few years, Creators on TikTok have pushed for a caption system within the platform, and they finally received it in early 2021. Before this, many creators felt pressure from the TikTok community and would include captions themselves using a third-party app. We know that deaf and hard-of-hearing people want captions, and to be honest, as a hearing person, who doesn’t like watching a TikTok on mute in public? The National Institute for Deafness and Other Communication Disorders explains that “One in eight people in the United States (13 percent, or 30 million) aged 12 years or older has hearing loss in both ears…” (2021). 

Put captions on your videos to reach an entirely untapped audience of deaf and hard of hearing people. We know from platforms like TikTok that including captions is successful and smooth while increasing the reach of your content.

Image Descriptions: 

Image descriptions are a great way to make images accessible to blind people. This might be the easiest change to implement. Image descriptions can be added to existing content; there is no need to create new images! Useful image descriptions are all about describing what is happening in the picture, not focusing on just one part of it. Unhelpful image descriptions might also focus on a feeling the image creates or the implications of the image. Instead, these descriptions should allow a blind person to understand what is going on in the image. Twitter and Instagram have already worked this technology into their posting, and now creators can include an image description hidden in the post. These image descriptions can be read by text-to-speech systems for blind users. Alternatively, a business website or social media can use captions instead.

There are many ways to integrate image descriptions into your posts, so don’t be afraid to use them!

Looking Forward:

Moving forward, check your social media and your websites to make sure they are accessible- it is important for your business and the consumers. The Americans with Disabilities Act also includes a section that highlights the importance of accessible websites. All government and business websites should be accessible to all consumers (Varacalli, 2021). At the end of the day, we want to make our products and services available to everyone.



References:

How to use color blind friendly palettes to make your charts accessible. (2019, August 21). Venngage. https://venngage.com/blog/color-blind-friendly-palette/

Improving the color accessibility for color-blind users. (2016, June 21). Smashing Magazine. https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/06/improving-color-accessibility-for-color-blind-users/

Quick statistics about hearing. (n.d.). NIDCD. Retrieved October 13, 2021, from https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics/quick-statistics-hearing 

Varacalli, D. (2021, October 5). Six steps to making your business website accessible. TechRadar. https://www.techradar.com/news/six-steps-to-making-your-business-website-accessible 

Ronen, R. (n.d.). Council post: How digital marketing agencies can help clients achieve web accessibility compliance. Forbes. Retrieved October 13, 2021, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2021/09/20/how-digital-marketing-agencies-can-help-clients-achieve-web-accessibility-compliance/

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