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Checklist for Inclusive Tweeting

Twitter is an important platform for sharing stories, ideas, and connecting with others. However, many Tweeters are unintentionally leaving out 15% of the world’s population who have disabilities by not composing accessible Tweets.  Fortunately, making accessible Tweets only requires awareness in a few areas.

Camel Case Hashtags

When you use hashtags, make them camel case.  This means the first letter of each word is capital. This then becomes discernible to a screen reader allow the words to be read individually rather than a nonsensical word.

The example below shows an example of using camel case for the #GovTechLive conference.

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 Avoid URL Shorteners

In the early days of Twitter, we shortened URLs because of the character limitation. Today URLs are no longer judged by characters, so it is not necessary. When you use a URL shortener, the screen reader says every letter. If you use the original URL most screen readers can read the words in the URL.

Plain English

Write using plain English. Some ways to do this include avoiding acronyms and writing below a 9th grade reading level. Most word processing programs have readability checkers built in. Online documents such as Google have extensions you can add.

Alt Text

Use alt text (short for alternative text) to tell those viewing your Tweet what is in the image. On Twitter you can set this up by going to “Settings and privacy,” then selecting “Accessibility” and checking “Compose image descriptions.” 

 Lisa Nielsen (@InnovativeEdu) has worked as a public-school educator and administrator since 1997. She is a prolific writer best known for her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator. Nielsen is the author of several booksand her writing has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times,The Wall Street Journal, Tech&Learning, and T.H.E. Journal.