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Creating an inclusive social media strategy


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  • 1. Creating an inclusive social media strategy Dr Scott Hollier Social Media in Public Sector 2014
  • 2. Who is Media Access Australia? • Australia‟s only independent NFP organisation increasing access to media for people with disabilities • Provides expert knowledge and advice on existing and emerging mainstream technologies • Works as a catalyst for change in multiple areas of access
  • 3. Who am I? • Professional: • Project Manager & WA Manager for MAA • W3C Advisory Committee representative • Academic: • Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Edith Cowan University • PhD thesis „The Disability Divide‟ • Personal: Legally blind, first-hand knowledge of access issues
  • 4. Defining social media • In the public sector, social media should focus on practical engagement • “The need to create, modify, share, and discuss Internet content in a particular situation.” (Kietzmann et. al. 2011)
  • 5. Benefits of social media • The public want to create, modify, share and discuss in areas of: • Personal life • Work • Entertainment • Goods and services • Education
  • 6. Benefits for people with disabilities • Personal: share and discuss in environments without prejudice • Work: overcome high levels of unemployment through online interaction • Entertainment: sharing captioned videos, play online games • Provision of goods and services: getting Dominos pizza coupons
  • 7. Relevance to the public sector • Gov 2.0 Round table in 2009 highlighted need for practical engagement of government services via social media to people with disabilities • Gov 2.0 Taskforce in 2010 used a competition to raise awareness of inaccessible websites
  • 8. National Transition Strategy (NTS) • Australian Federal government released NTS in 2010 • Three phases: preparation, transition and implementation • Implementation WCAG 2.0 targets: • Level A end of 2012 • Level AA end of 2014
  • 9. Changing relevance of accessible social media • In 2009, Media Access Australia released its Social Media Accessibility Review • Original request: “Which social media tool is most accessible and worth perseverance?” • By 2011, changed to “I want to use what everyone else is using, how do I overcome the barriers?”
  • 10. SociABILITY project • ACCAN funded project to support people with disabilities • 49 people provided tips and tricks on getting around social media accessibility • This was combined with online research and personal interviews to gain information
  • 11. Key questions • What can the social media tool do? • What are the specific benefits to me? • What tips and tricks can help me get around the accessibility issues? • How can I get set up to use it for the first time? • How do I perform the necessary everyday tasks? • How do I make my own content accessible? • Where do I go for help?
  • 12. Key barriers • Websites not WCAG 2.0 compliant • Unable to sign up due to CAPTCHA • App incompatible with their AT • Interface keeps changing (especially Facebook) • Unable to find help
  • 13. Resource overview Report: SociABILITY: Social media for people with a disability
  • 14. Resource overview • Tip sheets • Two-page quick reference • Similar in structure to consumer guide • Six tip sheets, one for each social media tool
  • 15. Facebook tips & tricks • Use mobile site • Additional keyboard shortcuts • WAI-ARIA support • Assistive technology helpdesk • Facely HD app for iOS • Facebook now make more regular accessibility announcements with main site gradually improving and CAPTCHA dropped on sign-up
  • 16. LinkedIn tips & tricks • Finding people easier using Google than LinkedIn‟s own search • LinkedIn support receptive to needs of consumers with disabilities (removed CAPTCHA) • LinkedIn app on iOS accessible • Twitter is a good way to communicate with LinkedIn about accessibility issues • LinkedIn still has issues but is one of the more accessible tools
  • 17. YouTube tips & tricks • Automated caption service • Free caption editors: Amara • YouTube alternative players: Accessible YouTube and Easy YouTube • YouTube app on iOS works with screen reader • HTML5 interface likely to improve accessibility in the long run
  • 18. Twitter tips & tricks • Easy Chirp accessible Twitter portal • Lots of accessible apps on iOS: main app, Twitterrific, Twittelator for iPad, Tweetosaurus, Tweetero • Good way to ask questions about disability- related issues • Use #a11y to discuss accessibility issues • Now has accessibility team so main site is improving
  • 19. Blogging tips & tricks • Focus on making content accessible rather than accessibility of tool • Media embedding options • Labelling links • Font selection • Blog template selection
  • 20. Skype tips & tricks • Good option for deaf and hearing impaired to communicate using Auslan • Windows: • Screen reader mode • Additional keyboard commands • Mac: fairly accessible • iOS: fairly accessible • Resources for accessibility of other platforms
  • 21. Practical accessibility tips for public sector • Accessibility is not just IT – engage marketing, comms, content producers, document creators and other roles in accessibility training • Make your website WCAG 2.0 complaint: only 26% were at end of 2012 • Use a variety of social media tools to maximise accessibility of messages
  • 22. Practical accessibility tips for the public sector • Conversations that end with „its all on our website‟ or „just follow us on…‟ are problematic - social media is a conversation, not a broadcast • Be open to accessibility criticism and demonstrate willingness to improve • Use and distribute free resources
  • 23. Professional Certificate in Web Accessibility • Six week online training course • University-accredited. Jointly delivered by UniSA and W3C member Media Access Australia • For ICT professionals to integrate web accessibility into work practices •
  • 24. Access iQ: A Media Access Australia service • Complete Guides to Web Accessibility • Australia‟s only web accessibility service directory • Training and workshops • Digital accessibility consultancy • Website testing and auditing •
  • 25. Further information • Dr Scott Hollier: • E-mail: • Website: • Twitter: @mediaaccessaus