In order for the world to be inclusive to disabled people, we must make accessibility a way of life. That means taking the best practices you learn within the workplace and using them outside of the workplace. You can start by making these best practices part of your everyday routines.

Add Alt Text to Images

Whether sending an email or posting to a public social media account, start adding alt text to your images. Social media sites have instructions on how to add alt text to images and all social media platforms support alt text that describes the visuals in the image.

If sharing a photo via social media, you can ask the original poster if there is alt text or you can add an image description to your post if you are unable to contact the original poster or in cases such as twitter, where the original poster can't edit the post to add alt text after the fact.

Ensure captions and transcripts are added to media

There are many ways you can help with the accessibility of audio and video media, including:

  • Adding captions and transcripts to any public-facing videos you create. You can do so by uploading a video to YouTube and editing the auto-generated captions. The captions automatically produce a transcript when stored in YouTube as well.
  • Encouraging your family and friends to add captions and transcripts to public-facing videos.
  • Asking a podcast to add transcripts to their podcast series when you see none added.

Of special note, if you are asked to present at a virtual conference, event, or a podcast, request that the media they serve up meet the requirements for accessible media. You can also choose to take a stance, if a recognized leader in the industry, and not present if an organization refuses to provide accessible media. 

Provide descriptive links where possible

When writing emails, remember to use descriptive links. The purpose of descriptive links is to provide users with the proper context of where the link will take them. For example, rather than writing "Click here" for a link title that is sending someone to an article on a news site, you would write the name of the article instead for the descriptive link. This can also be done in collaboration platforms, such as Slack and Teams.

Some platforms, such as social media and Zoom, do not allow for descriptive links. In that case, if the url you are sending people to is long, consider using a link shortener, such as bitly to generate a shortened url. This will also save character space in platforms such as Twitter where character space is limited.