Social Accessible Media

Did you know SAM stands for Social Accessible Media? Social Accessible Media is the disability justice approach to social media and beyond; it can lead us to more access and equity in digital spaces and all spaces!

Historically, the ableism, inaccessibility and digital inequality has systematically devalued the bodyminds of the disabled, of people with disabilities, of persons with disabilities, the disabled community, the disability community, and all beings of the past.

Within these communities and of Andean ancestors, surviving on the unceded lands of the Seminole and Lenapehoking tribes, this offering is a framework powered by decolonization, indigeneity and intersectionality.

We will provide deep research, philosophy and truths in the systemic oppressions of the digital ecosphere, to navigate a path supporting multiple offerings, including coaching sessions, expertise exchanges and an open-resource network to leverage all disability power.

This is Social Accessible Media, not social media accessibility, not accessible social, not accessibility for social media.

Let’s do this!

2020: I started first offering talks, workshops and courses with the Social Accessible Media trifecta of Captioning, Descriptions and Approachability.

2022: Trifecta updated to Systemic, Approachability, Multi.

2023: Stay tuned for new offerings!

Note: Offering below is a public workshop for 2020 Global Accessibility Awareness Day with DC Library’s Center for Accessibility!

This video is 56 minutes and 42 seconds, presentation begins at 01:25, Julia, is a short woman with long brown, wavy and curly hair and fair skin. SamKelly, has medium brown skin with long dark hair; both give more verbal visual description at the beginning.

Transcript via published Google Doc with and without timings.

Transcript below with timings (about 13 pages):

01:25 Julia: All right, let’s go ahead and get started. 

Good morning everyone. My name is Julia Wolhandler. I’m a short woman with long brown, wavy and curly hair. And I’m the manager of the Center for Accessibility at the DC Public Library. I am so excited to be joined by Sam Kelly today to celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day.

Sam is here to show us how to use built in accessibility features and social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Sam Kelly goes by she her and hers, is a hype woman for accessibility and smiles. She is Bolivian American, a multipotentialite and a nonprofit community builder. Currently serving at Americares, a global nonprofit, where she leverages all social in support of improving global health. Sam is an abolitionist for injustice, and because of her multiple intersectionalities she’s a crusader of human service over human centered design, specializing in accessible social media.

If you have questions today, please feel free to enter them into the chat or Q&A box and we will take them in the last 10 to 15 minutes. If you would like to access captions, and are using a computer, please click on the icon, close caption live transcript and then click Show subtitles. Thank you, Sam. For being here today. The floor is yours.

03:08 SamKelly: Thank you, Julia. Hi everyone. I’m so excited to be here and on our Global Accessibility Awareness Day. As Julia said my pronouns are she her y ella, in español, and I have medium brown skin I am Bolivian American, and I am a transracial transnational adoptee in an interabled biracial family. So I grew up with my mom and dad who are both white, Irish and Italian in Maryland. And my dad became a quadriplegic about 30 plus years before A.D.A. was passed. And so a lot of my childhood was really growing up with assistive tech and all things accessibility and life hacking. When I was an orphan—when I was Baby Sam—at my orphanage in Bolivia, I was essentially born without a left eardrum. So one of my access needs are the Live Transcription, the captions and I am learning A.S.L. so thank you for the access here today.

I lead social media currently at Americares, a global health nonprofit and we are actually the world’s leading nonprofit of donated medicines and medical supplies. So we believe in health and we are on all the major platforms. And because we are one of the largest nonprofits in the US, I have the opportunity to work directly with the platform representatives, whether that’s Facebook or LinkedIn or Twitter to work on these platforms and help them make them more inclusive and more accessible.

So this will really be a deep dive—I have a background as a social media manager for over 10 years. I have also previously worked at Disney as the photographer in Florida at the Parks so I feel there’s nothing that can surprise me. I enjoy the smiles from that and that’s really kind of how I approach all things accessibility and social media.

I believe we need to be hype about this and encouraging each other to do these things well, because practicing accessibility on social media at scale and fast is very hard to do.

So this will be a deep dive. We’ll be going through all of the platforms. We’ll start with Facebook but I’ll also want to start with my Trifecta approach of assessable social media. So if you think of a triangle, I really think that top lead is Approachability or readability.

So any content on social how is your audience been able to approach that content? Are they even able to approach that content? So you have a approachability slash readability at the top then the core other two parts are Alt Text and Proper Captioning. Proper Captioning is the hardest skill to master I think within accessible social media, arguably one of the most important but it takes time and I was very self taught in this. so I’m going to actually be demoing a 32nd video on YouTube. So we can work with caption files, which is really important.

So again, I’m Sam, we’re going to jump right in on Facebook. I’m going to start sharing what I use every day when I’m creating content.

06:45: So this is a template that I’ve created. On the screen I’m having a Google Doc appear. It’s segmented out by the different platforms. So I have Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and I’ve also included Vimeo, sometimes I’ll include some other platforms as well. But this is my base for video. And this is what it looks like for non-video—so essentially the difference is with video I have options for SRT files, and a video name and video description.

On the main non-video template I focus more on Alt Text. So at the beginning of both of these documents I’m thinking of the touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste—the senses of humans. And I’m also thinking of W.C.A.G. as we know as the sensibility guidelines. So immediately I’m thinking how is my audience going to touch this content? Will they be able to see it literally and figuratively? We’ll be able to see hear and access that content. What is the smell or flavor or feeling that I want to leave my audience with?

I think that’s really important as content creators that we remember not everyone’s going to access our content the way that we do. So if I have a photo, I want to think okay, what’s the feeling that I’m going to want to get across? Sight? I’m going to automatically think of Alt Text. Is there anything that needs to be conveyed from a hearing sense or a smell, text or context? And overall, what’s that taste and flavor I want to leave with that person?

Because I think social media is not just about being social, but also leaving a space for people to feel welcome, to feel included, to feel like they belong. Because if you feel and you have those feelings, you’re more often to come back to that community.

So that’s one of the reasons why I not only prioritize accessibility, but also you can—as I show in my content—invite the user or the audience members to message us more for more image description, or access to that Alt Text, or a full transcript of a video or a video description. So all these things come in around the five senses of what makes humans humans. So I’m gonna jump in and show you our Americares Facebook page.

Now, I am logged in on Business Manager. I’m currently using Chrome, the most up to date, and just note to when you’re creating content what I like to do is, I like to check on Chrome, Safari, also check on my mobile, and on mobile I check with Apple’s voiceover—sometimes I will check on—which is a screen reader for someone who’s blind or someone else who uses assistive tech—I’ll also check on desktop with some screen readers. But I primarily check on mobile because I know my traffic at Americares right now is primarily mobile based. So I’m thinking of my Trifecta of Approachability, my Alt Text and my proper Captioning. I want to show you actually a video here on our Facebook page that we’re going to do, a demo, just make sure I mute myself here—we’re going to do on YouTube.

10:34: So this here, I’ll click on it and make it larger is a live stream event that we did a couple actually a month ago. And so we had to do the graphic design, we had to think of the captions, we had to think of everything that went into it.

So I’m just sliding over so you can see my descriptions here. We also have live captions. We have Sign Language interpretation. But already I know that as I’m thinking of the Trifecta, can someone access this graphic, so thinking of/are the colors there? Is there may be too much text on the screen? What is most important? So right now I have a countdown clock going back down from five minutes, but when it goes live, you’ll note we do have a challenge here on Facebook, if it decides to go, Facebook or not integrate the proper captioning without two additional sources. So this gets really complicated, but I wanted to show you how on when you’re doing a live video that that proper captioning is a lot more tricky. So if this loads you will see on the screen we do not have captions, but there will be a Sign Language interpreter and that’s one thing that we do at Americares is we actually include our Sign Language interpreter and our talent as actual talent. So we’re doing the dress rehearsals with them. We’re practicing with them. They are one of our talent and panelists. So while that didn’t load, I do want to hop into our other campaign on YouTube.

And I will show, try to show, A Wear Mask Video. So Wear A Mask was one of our campaigns that we did in English, we did in Spanish really promoting wearing a mask. This is actually the Sign Language version or excuse me, the English version mask. [Background music plays].

So we had a couple of versions of Wear A Mask. But you’ll notice here on YouTube, I have the option for closed captioning. A trick is on Chrome and you’re viewing a YouTube video, you look for the three dots, and you can actually open the transcript and that will show you how someone inputted their transcript file. 

So here I can scroll down and I can see that mostly these captions are very short, there are no two line captions. And that’s really optimized, because for broadcast, for example, if this were to go to a national network and be shown on TV, they would show captions at 42 character length for excuse me, the web was share it for 42 character land, but if they were going to broadcast they would ask for 32 character length. So this is manual work. There are workarounds but we’re gonna essentially upload a 30-second video on YouTube. Then we’re gonna get the caption file and we’ll be able to adapt it to the other platforms.

So on YouTube, I’m just able to click upload video and I’ll be uploading that 30-second video. And I will play it from my desktop and I’ll scrub along so you can see. It is an illustration video. The current slide is a red background, there are yellow illustrated hands, in the middle of the hands are some bubbles like blue representing soap and water. At the bottom is Learn More at Young Vax. So throughout the video, the hand scrub, there’s an illustrated blue mask that appears, five feet apart also appears as a text with a ruler and it goes through some of the lyrics repeating in that fashion. So it’s very similar, it’s not changing a lot. So I’m going to upload this video to YouTube. Now if I don’t have the transcript file already, and I don’t know the words, I could have YouTube just do the auto captions. But we don’t want to rely ever on auto captions we always want to go.

So once it uploads I’m going to actually share with you how I do my captioning. So we’ll say hypothetically I’ve added in my title and description. My other details, and I click Next. New to YouTube is the set or the option to add subtitles during upload. For those of you that might remember around October/November of last fall, YouTube took away the community editing capability where anyone was able to go on to videos and the community could add their captions. That’s no longer a possibility. I hope YouTube adds it back in but you’ll see here it has add subtitles and then the button next to it says new which is great. Right now my upload is complete and it says processing is beginning.

So I’m just clicking through next, next and I’m going to go ahead and make this private. Now again, I’m uploading this video to YouTube so I can get the caption file. 

17:04: This is really important when I go to share this video on Facebook that I share the captions. On Instagram I’m going to need to embed those captions. On LinkedIn I have the option to upload the caption file as well as Twitter, I’ll have the upload—the option—to upload captions as well. So here I’m on YouTube studio. It’s still uploading but in my notes, I already have the captions that I’m going to use. So I had typed all of the captions out. I have made them be 32 characters or less lines. So each line will be just one line of captions at a max of 32 characters. And this is really helpful when we take these captions shorter. And try to use them on Instagram, though, are already going to be short and so they’ll be optimized. Now here’s a hack that I want to show you. 

If I use App Space Generator, which is now known as If I space out my captions so I’m just including a space on the left between all of the caption lines and I’m gonna do it just for the first section of captions. But I’ll go ahead and select all and what Apps4LifeHost and other apps that do spacing, we’ll make sure that these spaces in between the captions stay, regardless of where I paste it. So I’ve converted that and then in YouTube, I’m gonna go ahead and go to my subtitles. So the video here is 30 seconds. So when I upload it, it’s processed, it’s ready for captions. 

So by the arrow down and I will see some options under subtitles and clicking add for English. And if I had the caption file I would upload, but right now we’re going to have YouTube do the autosync. So I’ve pasted in my captions, noting that the first part has a space between each of the caption lines. And then the bottom are just one line directly underneath the previous line. So I’m going to have YouTube edit these timings for me. So YouTube is working to sync these captions automatically with the audio of the video. 

Now this shouldn’t take that long since it is only a 30-second video, but this is really critical to get right because as soon as these captions are ready, then I can upload them on the other social media platforms. So I’m refreshing now and I will click my arrow down. It’s still generating timings. It looks like it’s just about finished. Because you see here on the left hand side, I have my captions, next to my captions I have the different timestamps. So I’m going to mute it but if I play the video, the video will play and the captions will appear. So the captions are appearing on the video as Closed Captioning. And at the bottom I’m able to see the timeline, which highlights blue in whatever caption is the current one.

My auto captioning from Chrome is turning on which is blocking the screen, apologies, but the captions look right. Now again that hack only separated those captions at the very beginning one line at a time.

You’ll see now the captions are appearing at two lines at a time, which means for me personally, I prefer to do one line captions so I would go through and space out my captions, which as you can see is manual work. And it gets a little tiring, especially—if you’re doing a long video—this again is only 30 seconds. So I may have just done it by hand, but really if you can use an app that does the spacing for you like in the beginning, that really helps. So we’ll say my captions are good to go. I’m going to publish these captions and then I should have the option to download. So again, all I’ve selected is the three dots next to edit and then I’m selecting the second option, download, and I’m going to download as an SRT. 

So an SRT file is the only file that is able to be allowed to be uploaded on LinkedIn. YouTube actually accepts about 32 different caption files. And we’re gonna have to change this when we go to Facebook. But for now I have my captions in my download folder. So going back to Facebook, and we’re going to upload the video I will replace it here. So I have my caption file.

22:09 And the template for video says I only need a name and I’ll need the SRT file. Now what will happen when I try to upload just the SRT file, Facebook’s going to tell me it won’t accept dot SRT. So I will do the [upload] video first and now I’m in Facebook’s native video uploader. I’ve added the name, I’ve added the description and in captions, which is currently gray, I’m going to click that once and then I have some options. I have turned off auto-generated captions, but I’m going to upload captions. 

So this looks a little tricky here. Because it says use dot SRT files to create captions for any language. But if I go and try to upload that download of captions, it will say can’t upload, oh no. So it’s actually asking us to name the language first. And the example they give is captions dot E N underscore GB dot SRT. So that same English captions for Great Britain. So I’m going to change my file name to Wear A Mask dot E N underscore capital US. So English underscore capital US dot SRT is the end of my filename. So I’m going to try to upload again. I’m still getting the option to upload and once it uploads it will say uploaded English, so the error message is still there. But that second file went through so I’m good to go. I can actually click edit if I wanted to double check. So I’m assuming that these are correct. 

But you’ll see the timeline at the bottom is moving through those captions accordingly. And you’ll also note on these captions, I have chosen to be background noise in parentheses, there is a whole art to subtitles for deaf and Hard of Hearing, that could include pitch changes, background audio, other sensory audio items that they need. So just keep that in mind that there is a plethora of different ways to caption but for now those captions look good. I could go ahead and hit next and go ahead and publish and then my video is captioned properly. 

Now if I have that SRT file, I can go ahead and share that with the video on Instagram when I embed that as Open Captions. So Instagram first has the main feed which only takes 60 seconds of video. If you’re over 60 seconds, you can upload an Instagram TV version. So this version that I’m playing is the square video of Wear A Mask in sign language. When the audio track begins, you can see Open Captions have appeared in white. So the lyrics appear in about 50 size 50 font in aerial and the video is horizontal. This is really important when we’re doing captioning and particularly Open Captioning that the backbone of the caption shows there’s a high contrast. So if you just have captions directly over this video or another video, it would be really hard to see. But here we’ve provided the captions very large, the background is very dark. The background is not competing, or is part of the video. And we’ve even included here a video description that includes the link to the transcript as well. So if someone were seeing this on Instagram, video description here or DM us, and so we’ve actually broken down the media, and it includes 50— let’s see 18 clips are for the short version, and this full version has about 68—so every time the media changes, it’s all here if someone needs to access if it was this way, and then we’ve also included the lyrics as well. And this is all with short links so we know to how many people are clicking from which link and we’re able to track that as well. So these are the final lyrics that we use. But again, on Instagram, I’m going to have to have a video that uses Open Captioning. On Instagram TV we follow a similar format where we just take the horizontal video and have those captions very large at the bottom so it’s not competing. When you do LIVE on Instagram TV, it’s best just to download that video and then do your captions manually. If you do choose to do the auto-captions to publish after an Instagram Live, interestingly enough, those captions are accessible by a screen reader. So if I’m a viewer that uses a screen reader, I’m watching in Instagram TV, and I see the auto captions or I’m getting the prompt to access them and I click on the captions as they go. The voiceover will read them back to me. So that’s interesting. 

And then with LinkedIn, I have the option to upload just regular captions. SRT meaning I don’t need to rename the way I did for Facebook. So here scrolling down, after I’ve selected my thumbnail, I can go ahead and select my captions. This is an older SRT file, but you’ll see it works. Sometimes the caption files don’t go and I like to use a tool called Happy Scribe, as you can see, and I will just upload the captions again and reformat them. If that’s what it needs. Or I’ll go back to YouTube and again, download by selecting download, then the second option dot SRT. 

Now on Twitter, not everyone has the option to upload captions natively, you can try by going to That’s ads dot twitter dot com likely you will need to put in a credit card to access, but you don’t need to actually spend any money. You can also try accessing Media Studio. That’s Media Studio, which is part of Twitter now. So I’m accessing right now through ads dot Twitter and under Creative in Medi. I have the option to upload video media from there and once it’s uploaded, and I add all my details, I actually have to find another setting to upload my SRT file.

Twitter will take a dot SRT file. I can show—let’s see—most of the videos I actually choose not to have captions because it’s tricky and I feel it’s more important to just show something visually and have that simple description versus having captions that may or may not be optimized because Twitter may or may not be able to convey the captions the best way that I feel they can. 

So after as it processes I’ll get the option to add my details. So I’ll add the name, the description, the URL, the SRT file, and if I need alt text. 

30:43: Okay, so I’m selecting my video from Ads dot Twitter, and I filled out my title and details and then I’m selecting subtitles. Now I’ve noticed sometimes on Chrome and Safari browsers after I’ve uploaded a video to the library, sometimes the caption subtitle option doesn’t appear. So I just have to exit out, refresh, sometimes log in long log back in and then see subtitles. So subtitles I’m selecting a language to upload, EN and then I’m hitting upload. And I can go ahead and upload either one of these. It will say it’s uploaded and my saved changes are good to go.

So all of that is coming from YouTube studio. So I really rely a lot on this download feature and just going back through and editing those captions. So Proper Captioning is so important. It’s the core of our trifacta triangle. Now my approach to Alt Text, I feel is a little bit of restorative justice and healing justice. And I can show you that in this particular photo. 

So before I really get into the content of what this post is about, I’ve already teased my audience with about the first 72 characters of an Instagram post. So when we’re on mobile, and sometimes on desktop, really those first 72 characters are all you have to optimize for before someone hits ‘See More’ so I’ve gotten the hook. And now I’m immediately sharing with everyone what this post includes. So this post that is seen here has one square image of a person standing in a blue sari with one arm outstretched to get a package from a person in white protective gear, more in Alt Text or Message Us. That’s a simplified description, the Alt Text is definitely labor intensive. For me, and the way we approach it, because I do want to invite people to either learn about text which is a description for those who are visually impaired, or someone who needs more image description. But I also want to say this is a priority for us. 

I think when we look at the accessibility and the disability communities, you know, sometimes there’s a struggle, and sometimes they clash or there’s not always that understanding and so I’m thinking how can we restore this—healing justice? And I think oftentimes in my own personal experience, being neurodivergent, being hard of hearing, also being really tiny—I’m very short—is that we’re often left as an afterthought, or, you know, accessibility inclusion isn’t baked in to the start of the process. So just by simply adding Alt Text, Image Description, calling that out at the beginning I think for us creates a place of inclusion, so not having anyone wait to scroll down to the bottom and they may not—they may get to the bottom of the post and the image description may not be there. So that’s how we approach it. I’ve always found this is a good way our community is receptive to this. I do actively ask in our DMS for feedback and asking about our approach. I think that’s really important. So after we’ve included our copy for the post, very important, I’ve added my camel case hashtags as the second comment. 

So camel case is really capitalizing the first letter of each word and a hashtag is mistakenly called camel case. But it was actually a developer programming language. And it’s Pascal Case, not camel case. But either way, make sure you capitalize the first letter of each word in your hashtag. And on Instagram included as your first comment because someone like myself, I’m seeing if I were to include these hashtags at the bottom of the posts, as a sighted person, I have the option to stop reading through all of these. These hashtags don’t serve a purpose to me. They serve a purpose to the algorithm. So someone who’s using a screen reader or assistive tech doesn’t get the option to opt out. They would be forced to read all 20, 30 of these hashtags. So that’s really important to do. 

So on Facebook, if I have a photo, I actually have to do a couple more clicks to get to that. So I’m going to exit here. And I will just go up-upload a photo, inception of Facebook Alt Text within Alt Text. So I’m uploading my photo. Again, I’m on Chrome, it may look a little bit different on Safari, and note there are about 62 versions of Facebook out there right now.

36:05: So uploaded the photo in Chrome. When I hover over the image, I have two options. I’m clicking on the bottom right option of a pencil and I’m able to see the full photo and on the left hand side I have options, I’m clicking the fourth option called Alt Text. And then I could add my text Alt Text there.

Again, how we and how myself at Americares, we go with a longer Alt Text but just keep in mind try to be or try to say the most important information first. Be concise and a good way to practice that, is if you are describing an image to someone over the phone. So after I’ve entered on Facebook my Alt Text I can just hit Save and Facebook will save that. 

The Instagram is a little tricky. Here’s what it looks like when I have the image description as I showed you within the post copy. But on the mobile version is the only way to upload Alt Text. So you’ve created a post and then you’ll get the option at the very bottom for Advanced Settings. So currently on my screen, I just have three screenshots taken from iOS, Apple phone, and again, new post bottom bottom, Advanced Settings, you click that. Then also at the bottom, you have this selection to write Alt Text under Accessibility. And then you have the option to write Alt Text. 

Curiously enough on Facebook and on Instagram, there’s a limit right now of 1,000 characters on Alt Text. When I moved to LinkedIn, LinkedIn is the only platform that I’m aware of right now that has a limit of—let’s do this photo has a limit of 120 characters. So I’ve uploaded my photo I’m clicking Alt Text, and I’ll go ahead and write my short description there because again, I’m limited to—oh, it just updated 300 characters. So that’s exciting. Because in my template I actually had as of yesterday 120 characters. So, great news, we I guess have 300 characters now. So I’ll go ahead and add my Alt Text and then click Save. And then I’m good to go.

Now on Twitter, I will go ahead and upload my photo and I have to look either at the bottom for an option to add description and click on that or click on edit in the bottom right of a photo. Once I’ve done that, my first option is to crop the image, the second option is to add Alt Texts. So I would add—yeah—Alt Text here. And right now. Twitter has 1,000 limits on characters. I’ve never gone that high but I do tend to do our Alt Test a little bit lengthier because we include our image descriptions as well within the post. 

And you’ll see here for example, we have Walmart shouting out Americares and our work for the India COVID-19 surge and I checked to see if this had Alt Text and it didn’t. Right now I’m looking at Inspect. And I’m looking for an image which I think was actually the first to show up but it doesn’t show me any Alt Text in the code. So what I did was when I replied I just made sure that I included that Alt Text in the thanks. So—thanks Walmart and then I had a little description, this tweet has three photos, so it’s important for us all to be inclusive to challenge others to be inclusive, and that’s really Alt Text. So we have our proper Caption, our Alt Text and our readability.

So readability can cover everything from emojis. So I like to use Emojipedia. So if we look at folding hands, see if this works. So the emoji with two hands that are together, with palms together, some people have thought that is praying emoji or high five even but per Emojipedia which tells us what the screen reader will read back, it is folded hands. So readability can include limited use of emojis, so if I go to my Instagram example…

41:15: we use the emoji India as part of the hashtag but you’ll see there’s not really that many emojis. On Twitter, !—we tried to be very cautious of our use of emojis. So when we do, we generally use emojis at the end of the section/sentence or the end of the paragraph. When we’re doing a bulleted list here as this tweet shows yesterday. If a bulleted list is beyond three points our best practice is really to label this is going to be a list of 10 items, 20 items because as someone who is sighted, I can quickly see how long the list is going to be versus someone who uses assistive tech might get in and they’re on item 10 but they don’t know that they’re in 10 of 100. So really trying to make sure that they know where they are and keeping that more accessible.

And we also have plain language in general and identity. So in this photo, we are using very simple language and we also haven’t assumed this person’s identity. So great way to do in identity first and gender and getting that into your post is to really give someone the opportunity to share that with you. So that can be in your photo release form, that you include an option for them if they wish to, to disclose that and never assume (anyone) anyone’s identity at all we just simply say this is an individual or this human has long dark hair has XY and Z more factual base. And because we don’t want to lead to any assumptions and if we can encourage people just to keep things simple, then have the option if they wish to disclose and share that that’s fine, but it’s never on us to assume anything.

And also to go back to our example of the image we’ve got that was used on the Essential4 live health live stream so I can see now so this is an image I or graphic I didn’t work on, if this was an image straight that was a post on Facebook, I would have done my best to just have a image of four individual headshots of these panelists versus something that’s very graphic and text heavy. So I like to use Photoshop, there are other tools. So I just took a screenshot of that graphic and I’m pulling it into Photoshop. And so again, I wouldn’t use something that—that this is this graphic based—I do try to steer away from that. But if I wanted to check on the color contrast of this image, I could use something like Web AIM Checker. So here I have this green, and I’m pulling the hex code for the background color. And I know my foreground color is this white. I know it’s FF(s), but I’ll go ahead and copy that over.

44:38: So already I can see that this graphic that we use is not optimized for contrast, it’s failing. So we have W.C.A.G., double A and triple A and it’s failing both. We do try to strive for triple A. So you’ll—I’m able to find the Tweet in time—you’ll see actually how we adapted on social so that graphic was only used for the live stream itself during the countdown. #Essential4Health let’s try that from Americares, there’s okay, let’s see if I can find the Tweet. We promoted it a lot. So I was definitely sharing it alot but ah okay, great. So, you can see on the photo on the right is a little bit darker, have a green background, and it’s simplified.

So I’ve dismissed the actual title of the event. And I’ve taken out the host remarks and I’ve made it really simple. And I’ve also made the red darker. So I did some of those tweets. And you’ll see here too, in the tweet, we describe the video—video is a five second loop of a horizontal graphic that includes four headshots, text says #Essential4Health LIVE, National Volunteer livestream and then on this Tweet thread, I’ve actually included the ID, going into more detail of the description of the people of those headshots. So all of this is again the Trifecta really focusing on readability/Approachability at the top with a core of Alt Text and the core of Proper Captioning. So this is how we do it—it—there is a lot involved, it takes effort to do this at scale and to do this well, but if you can focus on one little part, then we can all be in a better and more inclusive space.

So if yeah, if you have any questions, I see some, some in the chat. So best practices. I have one from Jennifer. Our agency is submitting an advertisement to Facebook. Do you have any tips for best practices on how to best prepare our content for submission to ensure best accessibility once launched on Facebook. So we do spend a couple million dollars on advertising amd so I am part of that process, kind of as a second step but it’s really going back to the template of if you’re having a video making sure it’s properly caption, making sure you have the Alt Text that’s there. When you’re working with a creative agency and they’re not thinking about this, definitely have a conversation, bring it up, ask them what their accessibility best practices are. I will note on Facebook Ads when you’re doing a gallery ad, for example, you can add Alt Text to all of the photos however, when you start to get into bilingual advertising, it becomes more difficult and you have to do a couple extra steps in the workaround. But again, proper Captioning, the Alt Text and general readability—are you using plain language? Are you optimizing the first 100 or so characters (because that really does also apply for Facebook ads)? You know getting your point across, not assuming identity, plain language always wins. So yes, we have—I’m not sure the name—I’m apologies so I’m not gonna try to pronounce it, Chris*unknown*. Yeah and that’s one thing my hearing has affected how I take in sound and pronounce words. There are some words that I totally skipped. *Unknown* so guess yeah, maybe. She mentioned Accessibility and Readability. What was the last one? So the top one is really Approachability, which equals Readability. So are they able to read? Are they able to approach the content and at the core of the triangle is Alt Text and Proper Captioning.

49:11: And I do believe Tara that the webinar is being recorded and we will share out some links as well. Yeah, no problem. Julia, please flag me if there are some other questions that I may have missed elsewhere.

Julia: Sure. And I was just going to follow up to a question about the webinar being recorded, it is and it’s also being streamed live on our Facebook page. So if you’d like to go to the DC PL Facebook page, that’s another way that you can go back and watch it and share it.

Yes, we do have a question in the Q&A. So how do you write Alt Text well, for people, for people whose identities you don’t know, particularly with regard to skin color and racialized traits?

SamKelly: So again, for us, we always try to bake it into the process, right? If there’s any way you can get someone’s photo released, you should have if you’re sharing photos, one—of any individual—you should have their photo release, but also never assuming anything. So our approach is really human, individual person with medium brown skin, light tan skin we never assume they have white skin, or use the word white or anything that’s more racially determined. We let that just stay factual. It is challenging, I think, you know, as soon as you can, you know, start reaching out to the photographer that might have captured that image. That’s also to like, one thing that we came up with yesterday with a lot of images from the field of India, it was really hard to describe. So I passed on a bunch because I’m not—I don’t want to put ourselves in a position where we might be leaning towards assuming something. But that’s part of the content process. I’d much rather describe if this fits the social post and image of one person versus a group that may or may not be doing something that actually directly associates with the context. There is a group on Facebook, I think it’s called The People’s Identity. Julia, we’ll make sure we add this to the links, but they are a community that is offering feedback for these types of challenges. When you have a particular photo with, you know, diverse range of people have identities and the feedback on how we may start to describe them in an equitable way. Again, we all have our own approach. I always stay towards you know, keep it simple. Keep that plain language, don’t assume anything. Focus more on the facts and never assumptions

SamKelly: I think you’re muted Julia. Can’t you—can’t go one one zoom without it. 

Julia: Yes. Thank you. I don’t see any more questions on here but let’s check Facebook because Facebook does tend to have a bit of a delay to it. 

42:53: SamKelly: I’m so excited for everyone who’s listening or watching recording and playback, it’s really hard work, it’s fun though. And I think if we can all encourage each other to continue to do these best practices, we’ll be in a better place. So I’m happy that everyone tuned in and will be tuning in.

Julia: Yes, and thank you, Sam, so much for being here today. This is really important information that anyone can use whether you actually work in communications or you just want to use it for your personal life.

I will say for those that are joining us today. If you want to learn more about the Center for Accessibility and what we do, and more of our upcoming programs, you can contact us by email, which is or you can call us at 202-727-2142 and we also have a listserv that you’re welcome to sign up for that we send out monthly with all of our programs and services. And you’re more than welcome to check out our website at There is one one last question actually before we sign off from Jen Horan. Our agency is preparing an advertisement for Facebook. Any best practices before submission to ensure 508? It is a small media file with a URL.

SamKelly: I’m just checking I’m going to think maybe that is a video file with a URL. So if you have a video that has a URL, or words or a graphic, make sure that you are describing that in your advertisement, even if it’s really, really simple. So technically 501 at times in some lawsuits has been adapted to outside of the web app, adapted to mobile and some social cases. I think there will be a reckoning of all social so that we will get to a day when the algorithms actually reward us. But technically 501 or 508 is technically not covering social media all the time right now legally, I think there will be a reckoning and like I said before—if this video file, have the proper captioning, have a simple video description, make sure, also to, that the media color or light is not changing very fast. Because the Epilepsy Foundation says if the color or media changes more than five times I believe in three seconds, then that could trigger a seizure or an other physical response. So we want to make sure that we’re not doing any strobing, super fast changes in animations or colors, keeping that in mind.

And also too, Julia, you made a really good point that I forgot to include in Approachability is also having the means to access your content in other ways, whether that’s the call in and whether that’s a teletypewriter or whether that’s an email or a fax. That’s one reason(s) why I invite people to message us and I actually will tweak that messaging on Instagram, so it may be a DM on one post, it might be Message Us, it might be Inbox Us because DM is not always read by a screen reader as D dot M. so it might be dddimm. What’s a dddimm? So keeping that in mind is really important. Yes! A.D.A., A.D.A. will one day cover all things accessibility within social media. Absolutely.

Julia: Yes. Great. Well, thank you so much for everyone for attending and Sam for this wonderful, wonderful content. I appreciate it. Appreciate you and all the work you’re doing.

SamKelly: Thank you. Yeah. Thank you…