Inclusion Matters: Making Social Media More Accessible

At the January Social Media Lunch & Learn, UF Health began rolling out guidelines around accessibility to ensure content shared from UF Health and UF Health-affiliated social media channels is accessible to all members of our communities, especially those living with disabilities. The goal is to ensure everything that we are posting provides enough context for those with hearing and sight loss to fully experience our content and that it is compatible with assistive technology.

A silver padlock on a painted blue metal door
Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash.

One in four adults in the U.S. lives with a disability. This grows exponentially when you look at people over the age of 65. As a healthcare provider, it is likely an even higher percentage of our audience experiences barriers to our content because of vision loss, hearing loss, cognitive or physical disabilities.

As a part of our commitment to ensure the content we share is accessible, going forward any content requests we receive to be shared on the flagship UF Health channels must meet our accessibility guidelines.

The top considerations for digital accessiblity are:

Alt-text and image descriptions for all images
Alt-text gives the user the most important information while image descriptions provide further detail.

Captioning for all videos
Captions are text transcripts synchronized with other audio tracks or visual tracks. Captions convey information about spoken words and non-spoken sounds such as sound effects.

Using plain language and avoiding acronyms
If our audience can’t understand what we are trying to communicate, we aren’t effectively communicating. Plain language is communication your audience can understand the first time they read or hear it. Be sure to avoid acronyms as much as possible. If you do use them, be sure to spell out what the acronym means before replacing those words with the acronym. 

We have built a social media accessibility section of our support and training website to provide more information on these requirements.

The biggest constraint to creating and sharing accessible content is time. Remember to plan ahead to give yourself enough time to adjust your workflow to make sure you are removing the barriers to accessing your content. Using an editorial calendar will help you plan ahead.

If you have questions about social media accessibility, please email