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Top 12 of 2012 #2 – access to social media

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As social media continues to dominate what people do online, a new digital divide is opening up between those who use social media and those excluded from them by their inaccessibility. To help remedy this, we published sociABILITY: Social media for people with a disability in March.

Funded by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network grants scheme, the resource explains the current state of social media accessibility and guides users through getting started on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Skype and blogging.

Media Access Australia researcher Dr Scott Hollier conducted an eight-month qualitative study among people with a sensory and mobility impairment. Through this research, social media users with disabilities were able to share their tips and tricks so that others can gain access.


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Inaccessibility even faster: Facebook’s latest update

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Facebook's latest app update has improved the speed of the software but has failed to increase the app's accessibility, and made performing some tasks impossible for blind users.

According to Facebook, newsfeed updates will load faster and actions such as commenting and clicking 'like' will be updated in real time. However, our testing of the updated app on an iPhone 4S shows a number of features that are still inaccessible using VoiceOver.

Some of the new accessibility barriers include:

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Facebook excludes Deaf and hearing impaired by not supporting captioning

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The announcement that the Warner Bros. web series Aim High will be aired exclusively via Facebook video has sparked a new fight to get Facebook video to support closed captions.

The current lack of support for closed captions on Facebook means that people who are Deaf and hearing impaired are being excluded from watching any online videos using Facebook. Support for closed captions on social media platforms like Facebook is becoming increasingly important as web series produced exclusively for online media become more prevalent among big entertainment companies

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