Technology is a rapidly changing world with each change likely to bring new accessibility issues. Work is ongoing to make sure these issues are addressed but the challenges of social networks and accessibility remain.
Social media aims to deliver its message in a more innovative and engaging way rather than a leaflet or brochure. It can achieve this aim because of the wide range of technology available. The increase in its popularity means that social networking has many advantages:
- Anyone can create content.
- For many it’s easy to use.
- It makes information sharing easier.
- It provides rapid delivery of information with audience interaction.
- Provides easy communication access.
However, social networks are not always accessible to individuals using assistive technology, such as a screen reader. With the constant changes in technology and social networks, assistive technology cannot keep up, leaving individuals behind. On a positive note, social networks are becoming aware of this issue and providing new accessibility features.
Many people use Youtube to watch and create videos, although the small controls on the video player can be difficult for users to operate. Easy Youtube has been developed to improve these accessibility issues. Easy Youtube is clutter-free and has easy to recognize player controls.
Facebook can be a popular meeting place for individuals to keep in touch with old friends or meet new friends. Some functions such as drag and drop and adjusting slider settings may not be easy for screen reader users. Facebook provides Facebook Accessibility Information to provide more information on how users can become more accessible.
There are steps you can take to make social media more accessible and user friendly to use, check out the Accessibility and Social Media article online for more information.