Social Media

Social Media posts are considered digital content and technology and need to comply with WCAG 2.1, Level AA.

Note: Not all social media channels have the capability to create fully accessible posts. It is best to post information in an accessible alternative platform readily available to people.

Learn about the accessibility considerations and best practices for improving the accessibility of social media posts.



  • Add links at the end of the post.
  • Indicate the content type other than a webpage. Example: [DOC], [PDF], [VIDEO], or [AUDIO].

Hashtags and Title Case

  • Capitalize words within a hashtag.
    This is called Title Case (also known as Pascal Case). Camel Case also works but it is the capitalization of the subsequent words in a hashtag.
    Important: Assistive technology will read these as separate words.
    • Title or Pascal Case: #GoCougs #WashingtonStateUniversity #ThrowbackThursday
    • Camel Case: #goCougs #washingtonStateUniversity #throwbackThursday
  • Use hashtags at the end of the post.


Most assistive technology will use the assigned technical information of the emoji.

  • Avoid using emojis to replace words. It may not translate as you intended. See the assigned name of the emoji for clarity.
    Example: I ❤️ Cougs! is I Red Heart Cougs!
  • Use sparingly. Assistive technology may stop reading the emojis after so many of them.
  • Add emojis at the end of the post.
  • Avoid repeating emojis. Use less than 3 in a row.
  • Avoid ASCII art: Emojis are better than Emoticons or ASCII art. Assistive technology will read the characters instead of the message the art is trying to convey.
    Example: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Emojipedia: Use emojipedia to check the emoji’s description.


Alternative Text

  • Every image included in a social media post needs alternative text. A more in-depth image description adds context to the limited amount of text in the post.
  • Use the social media channel’s tools to add the image description (alternative text) for the image.
  • Review Core Concept: Images for more accessibility checks.

Images with Text

  • Provide an image description (robust alternative text) that includes all the text and information in the image. Consider including this information in the post as well.
  • Important: Color contrast (4.5:1) between the text and the background should be sufficient.
  • Review Core Concept: Color and Color Contrast for more accessibility checks.

GIFs and Animated Videos


Some social media platforms do not support adding alternative text for animated gifs. Provide the alternative text at the end of the post as an image description.
Example: gif description: [description of gif]

Animated Videos

Short video created with drawings, illustrations, or computer-generated effects. Generally, they do not have music or an audio description.

  • Provide a link within the post to an alternative video with the audio description. See Audio Description below.
  • Provide a video description at the end of the post.
    Example: video description: [description of video]


Review Core Concept: Audio and Video for more information about accessible videos and accessibility checks.


All videos should be captioned with the audio content for the video.


Captions: Synchronized, verbatim, timed text displays of a video’s spoken audio content. Text versions of non-speech sounds (e.g., alarm sounding) are also captioned when they provide meaningful information.

Closed Captions

Closed captions on videos provide controls for turning on and off and adjusting the settings for background color, font color, and font style. Check the social media channel’s capabilities of adding closed captions.
Note: Auto-captions may not be very accurate and need to be reviewed for accuracy.

Open Captions

Open captions are embedded into the video. Open captions do not have controls for turning on or off and adjusting settings for background color, font color, and font style. It is important to use appropriate color contrast (4.5:1) between the background and the font color in addition to using a readable font style. Some social media channels provide options for adding open captions. Otherwise, open captions will need to be added post-production with editing programs or captioning apps.

Audio Description

Social Media channels do not support audio descriptions.

Create a second video, identical to the first, with the audio description. Include a link in the original video’s post to the video with an audio description.


Audio Description: A spoken audio track/narration that describes what is visually happening, between the dialogue, within a pre-recorded video. This is an alternative description that aids people who cannot see the visual content.

Flashing Video

A flashing video is a video clip or animated image with strobing flashes or rapid-fire explosions. These types of videos can trigger seizures in individuals with photosensitive seizure disorders. It is best not to use flashing video at all or, at least, include a warning about the flashing video.

Social Media Channels

Note: Not all social media channels have the capability to create fully accessible posts. Post information in an accessible alternative platform readily available to people.




LinkedIn’s mobile app doesn’t have all of the features needed for accessibility.


SnapChat has limited accessibility. Using Snapchat should be considered carefully. Consider reposting your SnapChat content to an accessible alternative platform.


X (formerly Twitter)



  • AFB’s Social Media Accessibility Guidelines
    Source: American Foundation for the Blind

    Follow the guidelines so that your social media content will be available to everyone, including people who are blind, deaf, hard of hearing, or low vision.

    Categories: Resource, Social Media Tags: Article
  • Create Accessible Video, Audio and Social Media

    Learn how to create accessible video, audio, social media posts that conform to the Revised 508 Standards.

    Categories: Resource, Social Media Tags: Article
  • Federal Social Media Accessibility Toolkit Hackpad

    Improving the accessibility of social media for public service.

    Categories: Resource, Social Media Tags: Article
  • How to be more accessible on social media
    Source: Siteimprove

    The challenge with social media is that most platforms are not fully accessible. While you can’t improve the accessibility of the platforms, you can follow the principles of inclusive design and provide everyone with equal access to your content.

    Categories: Resource, Social Media Tags: Article
  • How to Write Alt Text for GIFs
    Source: Veroniiiica (Veronica with Four Eyes)

    Tips for writing alternative text for gifs.

    Categories: Core Concepts, Images, Resource, Social Media Tags: Article
  • Social Media Accessibility: Inclusive Design Tips for 2024
    Source: Hootsuite

    Inclusive design may seem like the domain of UX designers and web developers. But social media marketers should practice it, too.

    Categories: Resource, Social Media Tags: Article