“Accessible design is good design”- Steve Ballmer

Accessibility in design is very important and thankfully has been getting more attention lately. There are still many changes that need to be made, but recognizing that issues in accessible design are common is an important first step toward improvement. I am creating a few different deliverables for my project and am considering accessible design aspects that I can work to implement for these.

Social Media Posts

The first deliverable that I would like to focus on is my social media posts. I typically just post to Instagram without thinking about anything other than if the pictures look good and if there are good hashtags, but after reading “Inclusive Design for Social Media: Tips for Creating Accessible Channels” by Katie Sehl I have some changes to make. Now that I know how screen readers read various social media posts I have some things to keep in mind for my posts. I tend to use a lot of emojis in my captions, but these emojis don’t get read very easily by screen readers, therefore making it hard for one with any visual impairments to enjoy my content. Going forward I am going to lessen the number of emojis I use, and I am also going to work harder to make my social media punctuation grammatically correct for the screen readers to read it easier. 

Blog Posts

The second deliverable that I want to focus on is my blog. Blogs are full of wonderful content and resources, but most are very inaccessible for those with visual impairments. This article from American Foundation for the Blind is all about making blogs accessible for those with visual impairments, and it is full of incredible information. I have been adding alt text to the images on my blog posts, but this article gives me a much better understanding of how the alt text should be done for the best benefit of those needing it. There is also information about the comment form for blogs. It is very hard for screen readers to understand a lot of comment forms, but those who may be blind or visually impaired could still want to comment on your post. By following the steps listed in the article I will be able to reevaluate my comment form and make it easier for all to be able to comment. 

Spreading The Word

I hope that I am able to reach people from all sorts of backgrounds with my project. My long-term goal is to have a welcoming, accepting, and accessible online community for my followers and readers. By practicing inclusive design whenever and wherever possible, I am opening the door for many more to become a part of my community. Word of mouth, consistent posting, and other forms of algorithmic ideas will help people discover my account, and hopefully, join me on my journey.