Accessibility guidelines for social media

Here’s how to create accessible content for social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Confusing writing is an accessibility barrier to all readers and particularly difficult for people with dyslexia, autism or other cognitive conditions.

When writing, think about the words you use when having a conversation, remembering that our brains take in information more easily when it’s broken into small chunks. It’s also good practice to read your writing line by line, removing unnecessary words. Avoid large blocks of text and think about breaking up key pieces of information with bullet points to help your audience read and digest it quickly.

Instead of: An NGO building synergies to facilitate the avoidance of blindness.

Write: An international charity working to prevent avoidable blindness.

Capitalise just the first letter of a sentence. Words in block capitals can be problematic for people with dyslexia and visual impairments, particularly if sections of text are in capitals.

It can also prove tricky for screen readers, which may interpret consecutive uppercase letters as acronyms and read them out letter by letter.

Camel case is when phrases are written without spaces or punctuation.

Words in a phrase are separated by uppercasing the first letter of each word.

Instead of: #keepthingsclear

Write: #KeepThingsClear

Make your language as clear as possible.

Provide a definition if you must use confusing, technical language to express an idea.

The only time to use acronyms is when they are more widely recognised than when spelled out. Examples include URL, QR code and USB.

Instead of: FB is a SMP.

Write: Facebook is a social media platform.

Emojis should never replace words as they can completely change the meaning of a message.

Screen readers will read the alt text description of an emoji and you run the risk of users interpreting the message in a completely different way to what you intended.

Videos and captions

Captions are essential for people who cannot hear the audio.

Some social media platforms provide features with accessibility in mind, offering automatic, editable captions.

Providing a transcript ensures greater accessibility and should contain dialogue and important visual information in a video. Text in videos needs to be legible against the background: use good colour contrast and a large, clear font. Provide captions and transcripts for videos and podcasts.

Read our video accessibility guidelines

The title and description of a video should accurately reflect the subject. Avoid using ambiguous or misleading words.

Instead of:
Substituting a light bulb
It is a simple process

How to change a light bulb
Learn how to change a light bulb with this step-by-step video


A clear font is best for viewing on a screen. Decorative or handwritten fonts are much harder to read and therefore less accessible.

Use a large, clear font for visual content such as videos and infographics.

Words that are in italic type or underlined are difficult to read. Use regular for your main text.

Large passages of bold text are hard to read, and some screen readers will shout out words in bold, so use them sparingly.

Handwritten and decorative typefaces are best avoided. Choose a simple font that allows letters in words to be easily distinguishable from one another and with adequate spacing between them.

Large blocks of text can be tricky to read for lots of people, including people with dyslexia who can experience visual distortion, where words appear to be jumbled up.

It’s best to use bite-sized chunks of information where possible, using short paragraphs to create space. Images are also a great way to illustrate a point and help break up text.

Images and graphs

Moving images can be distracting and cause people to struggle to focus on reading text. It can be particularly confusing for people with low vision and attention deficit disorders.

A busy background will affect legibility, so always ensure text has a solid background behind it.

Crisp, clear images will be easily seen by followers and will also make your posts look much better.

Avoid low-resolution or blurry images. Also check that the photo has been cropped appropriately and is telling the whole story.

Keep charts and graphs as simple as possible and don’t forget to add alt text to them.

They must be clearly labelled and should not solely rely on contrasting colours. Use additional patterns or data labels to make it easier for readers to differentiate each piece of data. Do not use similar tones and shades in different segments of a chart or graph, as they will be difficult to tell apart, especially for people with low vision or colour blindness.

If the graphs have legends and axis labels, make sure the text is large enough to read.

Ensure the background offers sufficient contrast when placing text over a picture so that it can be read easily.

The caption itself should add context to the image.

Include alt text on images, including photographs, charts, icons, logos and diagrams.

This will allow people using screen readers to recognise them.

Read our full alt text guidelines

For more ways to be accessible, see all our topics

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