Social networking or media can be a good way to keep up with the latest news about a specific topic or to interact with a course group. It is possible to keep your profile hidden from people that you don’t directly know, in order to increase privacy. The use of social media in learning and teaching can be beneficial but care is needed to make it work well for everyone.
- The choice of social networking service is important. Many social networks have signup forms which use CAPTCHAs, which provide accessibility issues for screen reader users who want to use the service. If you are starting a social network, then choose a service that is as easy to use and accessible as possible. Be aware that the rich text editors used may also fail to have keyboard access.
- Describe images. Any pictures that are uploaded to be shared with your network should have adequate descriptions through the use of captions so that screen reader users can understand what the image is showing. Images on social networking sites usually lack alt tags as they are uploaded by users, so it is essential that captions describe the image sufficiently.
- Be careful how you customise your profile. Some social networking services allow you to change the colour schemes and layout of your personal profile page. Ensure that the colours chosen have a high contrast ratio between foreground text and the background, so that reading is as comfortable as possible for anyone that might want to view your profile.