Power of Social Media: Connecting Students of All Ages and Abilities


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For people with a disability, such as a hearing, sight or mobility impairment, social media websites and applications have their own barriers. We discussed how the accessibility issues found in each of the most popular social media tools can be overcome. Special thanks to George Kerscher and Aaron Page for their insights.

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Power of Social Media: Connecting Students of All Ages and Abilities

  1. 1. Varju Luceno: Power of Social Media Connecting Students of All Ages and Abilities XLi 2014 – March 28, 2014
  2. 2. What is Social Media? Engaging Others Online in Active and Open Conversations
  3. 3. What Can Social Media Do for You? • Make your voice heard • Level the playing field • Keep you up-to-date • Enhance your networking efforts • Inform and educate others about your cause, services or product • Distribute your content • Help you stay connected • Amplify your message
  4. 4. People are geared toward connecting Connection = Value = Belonging
  5. 5. Most Relevant Social Media Platform? Factors to consider: • Your audience • Are you listening, networking, monitoring, sharing, educating or broadcasting? • Frequency of updates • Available resources (time, money, staff) • Social media guidelines • Tone / Style • Privacy / Security
  6. 6. Where should I be: SlideShare, Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook?
  7. 7. SlideShare • Free or paid options • Share concise, well written, shareable content • Demonstrate your expertise • Spread ideas • Add audio track to visual presentations / slides • Automatically generated transcript • Upload content in various formats (PowerPoint presentations, MS Word files etc.)
  8. 8. Twitter • Free • Connect and Engage • Listen • Share • Monitor / Get news • Promote • Educate • Research • Respond to feedback
  9. 9. LinkedIn • Free or paid options • Connect with more than 275 million members worldwide, find mentors and career advice • Stay up to date with people in your network • Search for people, jobs, companies and groups • Follow Influencers / get insights • View and save recommended jobs • Read the latest industry news • Follow companies / organizations • Keep up with your favorite groups, participate
  10. 10. Facebook • Free • Effective for H2H (human-to-human) connections • Personal profiles, pages (companies, events, causes, non-profits, products) and groups • Participation is more involved (time-consuming) than on LinkedIn, Twitter or SlideShare • Can get very “noisy”
  11. 11. Blogs • Free or paid options • The most time-consuming • Know your target audience • Relevant content and consistency of posting are important • Educate and inform • Make sharing your content easy
  12. 12. YouTube • Free • Very powerful • Know your audience • Edutainment (Educate and Entertain) • Use captions • TedEd: Lessons Worth Sharing [http://www.youtube.com/user/TEDEducation]
  13. 13. What About Accessibility ?
  14. 14. Common Social Media Accessibility Issues • Lack of section headings • Poor color contrast • Inability to navigate using keyboard only • Inability to operate functionality using keyboard only • Missing text equivalents (descriptions) for images • Inability to resize text • Videos lacking captioning • Purpose of a field not labeled • Inability to create user accounts (Pinterest) • Use of CAPTCHAs- abstract renderings of random characters
  15. 15. Make Your Content Accessible • Provide additional ways to contact your organization • Use clear, concise messages • Include main content first, put hashtags (#) at the end of a post, important for screen reader users • If a tweet contains an image, video or audio indicate this at the beginning of the content or use the prefix [PIC], [VIDEO] or [AUDIO] • In addition, if a tweet or Facebook post includes one of these items, link back to the webpage that contains the image, video or audio with a full caption/transcript • Avoid the use of acronyms, abbreviations and text messaging shortcuts if you can • If you are linking to a PDF document, make sure the document is tagged properly and accessible. If it is not, also provide a link to a text alternative • Ensure proper HTML markup is used such as headings, paragraphs and lists to help orient users and ensure clarity of the content
  16. 16. Find Tools and Resources • Twitter provides a list of keyboard shortcuts for keyboard only users • Facebook provides a small set of keyboard shortcuts • AppleVis collects information on the accessibility of apps developed for iOS devices, including LinkedIn and Twitter apps • Easy YouTube provides an accessible interface for viewing YouTube videos • Easy YouTube caption creator: content creating tool • WordPress open source CMS with many free plugins, allows to host a website on your own server, provides more freedom to customize the software for accessibility
  17. 17. Resources • Twitter Accessibility: Media Access Australia [http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/online-media/social-media/twitter] • LinkedIn Help: Media Access Australia [http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/online-media/social-media/linkedin] • Facebook Accessibility Help [https://www.facebook.com/help/156151771119453] • Accessible WordPress Themes: The Chronicle of Higher Ed [http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/accessibility-ready-wordpress-themes/55683] • Tweeting Blind by Jonathan Mosen (NBP) [http://www.nbp.org/ic/nbp/TWEET.html]
  18. 18. Resources (continued) • Social Media for People With a Disability [http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/online-media/social-media] • Improving the Accessibility of Social Media in Government [http://www.howto.gov/social-media/using-social-media-in-government/improving- accessibility] • Accessible Social Media: SSB BART Group [https://www.ssbbartgroup.com/blog/2013/01/08/accessible-social-media/] • Ed Social Media [http://www.edsocialmedia.com/] • AppleVis [http://www.applevis.com/]
  19. 19. Stay Connected Twitter: @accessibledaisy, @varjuluceno www.daisy.org