How to make your Instagram more Accessible.

 In Society State

First and foremost…what do we mean when we say accessible? As of September 2020, there are 466million people who have a hearing impairment. Not only do they experience hardship offline, but social media platforms always provide limited accessibility. This is the same story for those who are visually impaired.

Why should you make your Instagram photos be more accessible?

There are two main reasons on how to improve your Instagram accessibility:

1️⃣ If the internet is too slow to load, or perhaps more importantly

2️⃣ When someone uses a browser such as Mozbraille or they’re using a screen reader if they’re visually impaired

As a brand or business, you can take steps to make your content more inclusive on Instagram. These tips don’t have to be complicated or time exhaustive, think of them as your usual steps in the content creation process and they’ll become second nature.

Instagram Accessibility Tip #1 – Adding Alt Text to your posts

What is Alt Text? Alt text is an invisible description that turns into narration through a screen reader device — perfect for those with visual impairment as they are able to understand what’s happening in your content without being able to see it.

Hot Tip: Your alt text should describe, what the image is all about. Write your description to give context to your caption – what is it in the photo that you want someone to take away from it, and why is it important?

How to add Alt Text to your Instagram photos: 

1️⃣ New Post: Select your content, hit next. At the bottom of the screen where you write your caption, tap ‘Advanced settings’, under Accessibility, tap ‘Write alt text’

adding alt text to instagram post

Above: Steps to add Alt Text to a New Post

2️⃣ Existing Post: On your own Instagram feed, tap the three dots to the right of your image. Tap ‘edit’, then tap ‘Add Alt Text’ in the bottom right of your image, add your text and click ‘Done’.





Above: Video Demonstration of adding Alt Text to a Existing Post

Instagram Accessibility Tip #2 – Add subtitles to all Videos

Stats have determined that 85% of videos on social media are watched without sound…so adding subtitles is a no-brainer. Especially since those with hearing disabilities are immediately included in your content through the inclusion of subtitles.

Hot Tip: If your content includes IGTV, Instagram has released a function that automatically adds subtitles to your post in 16 languages…you just need to click a button!

How to add subtitles in IGTV: 

There are two options…

1️⃣ Go to your settings and turn on video captions


2️⃣ Find the option in the video drop-down menu.

Alternatively, you can use apps to add captions/ subtitles to your videos and then upload them. A favourite of ours is the Mix Captions app.

Instagram Accessibility Tip #3 – Adding captions to your Instagram Stories

Making your Instagram Account more accessible doesn’t stop at the posts in your feed. It extends to your Instagram Stories also. And that means captioning, or adding subtitles to your Instagram Stories.

How to add subtitles in your  Instagram Stories: 

1️⃣ Once you upload/film your stories video, tap on the sticker selection

2️⃣ Select the captions sticker, this allows for IG to automatically caption your stories

There are other ways to add captions to your IG Stories:

1️⃣ The DIY Approach: Type out the captions yourself using the text editor

2️⃣ Use External apps/software with ASR (Automated Speech Recognition):

  • Clipomatic: Available for purchase in the App Store. Provides captions in over forty languages.
  • Available for purchase in the App Store. Add subtitles to any video.

Instagram Accessibility Tip #4 – Capitalise your hashtags

Hashtags are an important part of outreach and brand visibility on Instagram. This quick tip makes them more accessible to the blind community. By capitalizing each word, accessibility screen readers will be able to correctly read out your hashtags.

We’d love to know if you found this article helpful, let us know below!

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