Two months ago, I attended an excellent session about social media and accessibility.
Just like I came to understand the importance of plain language and gender-inclusive language, that session helped me realize why digital accessibility matters.
The ultimate goal of digital accessibility is to ensure that people with disabilities can use applications, devices, websites, and other tools.
Some of the topics that were discussed included:
Describing images and graphics using "Alt Tag" – Not only is this practice more inclusive, but it will also boost your image SEO.
Not relying on color alone to convey a message – This matters because there are people who have color blindness or color-contrast deficiencies.
But what stood out the most to me were hashtags!
A hashtag is a metadata tag that is prefaced by the hash symbol (#). According to Merriam-Webster, "social media has made the hashtag a ubiquitous part of Internet culture, starting with Twitter and expanding to other sites."
While they were initially designed for categorizing posts, hashtags can now be used to highlight specific words or phrases.
The problem with hashtags is that they can be hard to read — especially for visually impaired people — when they're written entirely in lowercase.
That's why I'd like to encourage you to make hashtags comprising two or more words more accessible by capitalizing the first letter of each word. This is called the #CamelCase – it makes hashtags easier to read and understand!
💡 For instance, instead of writing #medicaltranslation, you can make it more accessible by writing #MedicalTranslation.
A few years ago, my colleague Melisa Palferro created a hashtag for translators on LinkedIn called #LItranslators.
The issue began when people started writing it as #litranslators, which led to several misunderstandings. Some people thought it stood for "literary translators." Others believed it was "lit translators," which is also why we don't write #LITranslators either.
On that note, if you're on LinkedIn, let's connect there if we haven't already!