Making images accessible on social media

06/04/2016 Written by Mike Taylor Senior Accessibility Analyst (DAC)

I am a totally blind person and I use social media both personally and professionally almost every day. Often I encounter a picture will be posted without anyway for myself to identify what it is.
This didn’t really bother me at first, but as time goes on and more accounts are created, the more images are posted and my time-line becomes cluttered with posts which contain fewer words and more images. The result of this is that social media is becoming not so social from my perspective.

Thanks to some fantastic work from Twitter and Facebook this just might be a thing of the past. Over recent months both Twitter and Facebook have taken significant steps to provide ways of making images accessible for blind or low-vision users, by an automatic identification of images when using Facebook, or manually creating an alternative text description (otherwise known as 'alt text') for images on Twitter. Here’s to a more accessible future.

For more information and articles on the steps taken by Twitter and Facebook, check out:
Under the hood: Building accessibility tools for the visually impaired on Facebook (external link).