Technology

Daily Buzz: Keys to Inclusive Social Media Management

By / Jul 23, 2020 (alphaspirit/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Take advantage of preexisting features to make your content accessible to the hard of hearing and visually impaired. Also: the key to an effective online learning program.

The social media experience is not the same for everyone. While using it is hassle-free for some, others face roadblocks.

For example, over 2 billion people have a vision impairment or blindness, according to the World Health Organization. “That’s a large portion of the global population that has to use text-to-speech programs or screen readers to navigate the digital world,” says Alexa Heinrich on the Sprout Social blog. “There are also roughly 466 million people in the world who are deaf or hearing impaired. If the effort isn’t being made to be accessibility-friendly online, then the experiences of these individuals are being hindered.”

Start by considering how you communicate on social media. Do you use emojis on every post and for every image caption? Use them in moderation and keep them at the end of posts, because the meaning behind emojis might not be apparent to those who are visually impaired.

“When someone uses a screen reader or text-to-speech program to read an emoji, they hear the assigned description for that character,” Heinrich says.

Take advantage of built-in features found on social media platforms to make your content more inclusive. On Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, you can add alt text to images so that the visually impaired can get a useful description. You can also add closed captions to your videos so that the hard of hearing can follow along.

“Both YouTube and Vimeo, two of the biggest video-sharing platforms on the Internet, offer ways to add captioning and/or subtitles to any videos you upload,” Heinrich says.

What Really Matters in Online Learning

Emergency remote instruction conducted in the past few months might have given some people a bad impression of online learning. But it’s the teaching method—not the medium—that matters, suggests a recent post from WBT Systems. An effective online course needs planning.

“Online courses and learning programs must be designed from their inception for the digital format. They can’t just be a recording of the in-person workshop or course,” the WBT team says. “Get on the right track by providing training and support for staff in charge of designing programs—virtual conferences, online courses, and other e-learning programs.”

Other Links of Note

Virtual meetings are now essential. SmartMeetings breaks down how to make them more productive.

The research is clear: Mandatory masks make people feel more comfortable visiting cultural organizations, says Know Your Own Bone’s Colleen Dilenschneider.

Without a business plan, your nonprofit won’t achieve the noble goal you’re working toward, says Daniela McVicker on the Nonprofit Hub blog.

Michael Hickey

Michael Hickey is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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