Information Services

Social Media Accessibility Guidance

A guide for ensuring Social Media content is accessible to most users.

Social Media Accessibility Guidance

Accessibility guidance for socials

As content creators, we have a responsibility to ensure that we design for everyone. As a public sector organisation, we have a legal responsibility to ensure all our content meets a minimum standard of accessibility. Here’s some advice to help keep you on track:

Although these areas necessarily overlap, please refer to the following general principles to ensure social media content remains accessible.

Fonts and text

  • Write text with sans-serif fonts, including Arial and Calibri;
  • Use a minimum text size between 12 and 14 point;
  • Avoid italicisation, continuous capitals and / or underlining for content;
  • Use bold as a means for emphasis;
  • Use Camel Case for hashtags so the first letter of each word is capitalised.


Layout and formatting

  • Include the alternative format tagline as part of any campaign: alternative format tagline;
  • Format text using left-align, not right-align or centralised;
  • Utilise line spacing for sentences, lines and paragraphs (if appropriate);
  • Provide adequate spacing between items.


  • There can be a challenge between choosing dark text on a light background or the reverse; therefore, ensure the user can employ web browser customisation;
  • Consider colour contrast for both text and background items (a minimum of either 25% or 4.5:1);
  • Utilise the WAVE WebAim contrast checker;
  • As a general principle, employ coloured (non-white) backgrounds;
  • Ensure no information is conveyed by colour-only.

Web addresses and pop-ups

  • Use correctly formatted hyperlinks for web addresses:
  • for example, The University of Edinburgh homepage;
  • do not use, or click here;
  • text should always provide an accurate description of the link, as this is particularly important to screen reader users;
  • Ensure users receive an indication / alert if a link will activate a pop-up or new browser tab;
  • Limit the use of pop-ups and new browser windows due to general issues with assistive technology.

Photographs and images

  • Non-text items (including photographs and images) must hold alternative text descriptions;

Information on how to add alt text on Twitter

Editing alt text on Facebook

  • Alternative text must be meaningful, descriptive and make sense to users;
  • Do not use text as an image or with the background showing through;
  • Ensure the user can customise the content.

Audio / visual content

  • Ensure video has human corrected captions;
  • Consider incorporating British Sign Language (BSL) into video content;
  • Consider how best to convey information via more than one method (for example, not using sound-only).

Types, variety and forms of media

  • Ensure no flashing content on social media websites or applications. If something flashes more than 3 times per second it can trigger an epileptic attack
  • If moving content is required, ensure the user has the option to pause, hide or control;
  • Ensure no time limits exist for any interactive elements;
  • Consider methods to make emoji’s accessible and limit their use e.g. do not use the same emoji over and over again at the same time as created issues for screen reader users
  • Don’t use ASCII art as it is not compatible with screen readers.

Reference guides and support

Contact information

There are several areas within the University that focus on accessibility, including Disability and Learning Support (DLSS), the ISG Disability Information team and the Health and Safety Office (via the Staff Disability and Wellbeing Officer).