Dark times, my friends. Dark times. It’s up to all of us to pull together. And that means making vital health information accessible. One of the easiest things you can do is make your Twitter content accessible is by adding descriptions to your images.
Go to twitter.com/settings/accessibility and turn on “Compose image descriptions”.
Here’s why. This is a screenshot of a Tweet I recently saw. The images weren’t loading because my area’s 3G signal is overloaded. So I got the same experience as someone with a visual impairment.
What is the message? Is it “keep calm and wash your hands”? Or “The hospital is full, please don’t come”? There’s literally no way of knowing. Think of the anxiety that Tweet generates to anyone who can’t read the image.
If you are communicating important public health information, you must make it available to everyone.
Here’s what it was supposed to look like:
From the chair of surgery at Columbia Presbyterian pic.twitter.com/XgEDZO01VN
— Bill Ackman (@BillAckman) March 21, 2020
(Sorry for picking on you, Bill. Yours was just the first of many I saw.)
Twitter lets you add up to 420 characters in an image description field. For some images, that’s plenty. For the above text, a quick summary would be enough.
In the UK, public bodies have a statutory duty to make their content accessible. That includes posts on social media. Adding image descriptions is not an “unreasonable burden”.
Please click on twitter.com/settings/accessibility and turn on “Compose image descriptions”.