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How to make your social media accessible

A person uses social media on their smartphone

A person uses social media on their smartphone

Social media accessibility means that everyone can join in the conversation and the weird and wonderful things that take place online. It's a love note that says, ‘we want you here too’.

There are around 2 million blind and partially sighted people in the UK who can enjoy your content if it’s accessible.

Here’s a guide on how you can make your content accessible.

Accessibility tips

We’ve created a social media checklist to keep handy and tick off before you post on social media.

Alt text and image descriptions

Image descriptions make images accessible for blind and partially sighted people. It's also known as alt text. They’re simply a written description of an image. Image descriptions aren’t for adding photo credits, inside jokes, extending copy or for boosting Search Engine Optimisation.

Image descriptions should be added to all images, memes and GIFs and should include all copy included in the image.

Accessible videos

Videos featuring beautifully shot footage accompanied by music are really popular, but did you know they’re not accessible for blind and partially sighted people?

Here are our top tips to help make sure your video content, whether it’s a quick self-shot clip or a multi-million pound advert, is accessible to all.

Audio-led vs audio-described content

To make sure your videos are accessible to people who are blind and partially sighted, we’d recommend making sure they are always either audio-led or audio described. This comes with the added bonus of making sure your messaging is really clear for all.

  • Audio description is something you may have heard about on the TV or in the cinema. It’s commonly added after the video has been shot and edited, narrating what’s happening on-screen and describing any visual elements which aren’t clear from the sound or dialogue. Audio described versions are usually accessed separately to the main content (eg by linking to an alternative version on YouTube).
  • Audio-led content is made with accessibility in mind from the very beginning, making sure that the script conveys the intended message audibly as well as visually. This might sound complicated, but a great example of this on social media is Outfit of the Day videos, where people simply describe what they’re wearing. In interview content, you could ask your subject to describe what they were doing, eg “I was out walking my dog.”

Our other top video accessibility tips are:

  • Always add subtitles. It’s not just people who are deaf or have hearing loss who find captions useful, lots of people do. Headliner is a great app, and you can also use auto-captioning features in apps like TikTok, Instagram and CapCut.
  • Check auto-generated subtitles before posting. There can be some pretty interesting mistakes!
  • Use subtitles with white text on black backgrounds, as these are easiest for blind and partially sighted people to read. This is important, because most (93%) of blind and partially sighted people can see something.
  • Write a video description in your post copy or a first comment if you need to share a video which isn’t audio-led or audio described. Write it like you would alt text, describing what’s happening in the video, e.g.: “A man walks his dog down a country lane in lush mid-summer sunshine, before heading into a stone cottage to enjoy a cup of tea.”

CamelCase hashtags #LikeThis

We all use hashtags on social media, like reacting to a trending moment. Did you know you need to format them so they’re accessible? Camel Case is when you capitalise the first letter of each word in hashtags, #LikeThis. It means that they’ll be read out correctly by screen readers and it also makes them easier to read for everyone. Win win!


We love emojis, you love emojis! When it comes to accessible social content, they should be used with care.

If someone’s using a screen reader, they have to listen to the full name of every single emoji being read aloud.

Our top tips are:

  • Use one emoji per post, two at most
  • Don’t use emojis one after another
  • Don’t put them between every single word
  • Avoid using them as bullet points. If you must use emoji bullet points, use the same one each time
  • Be mindful of emoji names, as it might give a very different message to the one you’re intending. Check EmojiPedia for the meanings.

Fancy fonts

It might be tempting to use a fancy font generator to make your content stand out. However, they’ll stand out for a lack of accessibility too.

Not only can they be difficult to read, they’re also inaccessible for screen reader users. Screen readers will often say “bold” or “italic” before or in between each letter making it almost impossible to understand. Some screen readers will even skip words altogether. Stick to the standard fonts so your copy is easy to read for everyone.

Social media platforms

Here’s a rundown of the accessibility features you can use on different social media platforms.

And don’t forget, our Social Media Checklist, is a handy guide to make sure your content is accessible before posting.


Remember, it’s important to add alt text when sharing images on Facebook. To add alt text to your Facebook posts Upload your image> tap ‘edit’> add alt text>save

We also recommend copying and pasting your image descriptions at the bottom of the main post copy, so they can be accessed by everyone – not just those using a screen reader.

Check out Facebook’s dedicated accessibility page for more.


On X/Twitter, when someone adds alt text to their images, an ‘ALT’ badge appears in the bottom left-hand corner. It’s easy to add too: upload your image>click 'add image description'>describe your image, including all copy> save.

You can also add an alt text reminder so that you never forget to add alt text on Twitter, here’s how: Go to ‘settings and privacy'>Choosing ‘accessibility, display and languages.’ ​>tick ‘receive image description reminder’.​

There’s more accessibility info here: Twitter information about making images accessible.



When uploading photos, make sure you add alt text, by navigating to the “Advanced Settings > Accessibility > Write alt text” at the bottom of the menu while you’re editing your post.

We also recommend copying and pasting your image descriptions at the bottom of the main post copy, so they can be accessed by everyone – not just those using a screen reader.

Bear in mind that if you schedule a post using third-party software, there’s currently no way to add alt text. So, make sure you edit the post to add some as soon as it goes live.


When creating content for Reels, we’d recommend following our advice in the video accessibility section, including making the content audio led or audio described and using subtitles.

You can also make the most of the voiceover function, which allows you to add further description to your content.

Remember, that text you overlay onto videos is not accessible to screen reader technology, so don’t rely on it to get your message across.

Reels allows you to add auto-generated subtitles, but always remember to check them before you post.


There’s no way to add alt text to describe images on Stories. A workaround we’ve found for this is to type text onto your Story with an image description. It’s up to you whether you display this in your content, alternatively you can hide it behind an image and screen readers will still be able to read it out.

Stickers, such as Q&A and Location stickers, are not currently accessible to screen readers. So, make sure you type text describing them, including the question you’re asking (for example) onto your story somewhere.

You'll find further Instagram accessibility information on the Instagram website.


Like X/Twitter, you know when someone has included alt text as there is an ‘ALT’ badge on the image. And like X/Twitter, it’s easy to add: Upload your image> click the 'alt' button>Add your description>click done.


TikTok is a new and exciting social media platform. However, it’s really important to note that TikTok is missing some key accessibility features, and the ones it does have are not well publicised or used.

TikTok can be a headache to navigate using screen reading technology. This means that being on the app can be a confusing and frustrating experience and that even if accessibility features are used.

Photo carousels and visually-led clips

TikTok doesn’t currently have an alt text feature. It also doesn’t allow screen readers to access the text you type on-screen and overlay onto photos and videos.

The result of this is that photo carousels, a hugely popular feature, are completely inaccessible to blind and partially sighted people. The same goes for videos which combine a trending song or audio with a short video clip and text written on the screen – if there’s no voiceover or text-to-speech bringing it to life.

Making your TikTok content accessible

It’s possible – and easy – to make your TikTok content accessible to all.

Here are our top tips:

  • Use our advice on making video accessible, like adding subtitles and making sure your content is audio-described or audio-led
  • Check auto-captions generated by TikTok before posting for accuracy
  • The text-to-speech function is a brilliant way to make sure the text you’ve written on-screen is accessible to all
  • Consider recording voiceovers for your content, explaining what’s happening on-screen. It’s a recognisable feature that’s used often by creators, so your video will fit in perfectly

For more info on accessibility: TikTok Commitment to accessibility information.


Like the other social platforms, it’s important to add alt text to images you’re sharing on LinkedIn. Here’s how: Upload an image>edit photo>click edit>amend your alt text>click done.

LinkedIn allows alt text of up to 1,000 characters. Similarly to Instagram and Facebook, it’s good practice to add an image description to your post itself. This means that the information is displayed visually too, making it accessible for everyone.

RNIB is not responsible for the content of external sites

Inclusive communications masterclass

To find out more about the importance of inclusive digital content and gain an understanding of the challenges blind and partially sighted people face every day due to the lack of accessible communication, sign up for RNIB's inclusive communications masterclass.

The one-day session has been designed to give you all the tools you need to create inclusive digital content, while also highlighting the role we play in the creation of accessible information.