Social media accessibility: a how to guide
January 17, 2019

At Living Paintings we’re all about accessibility, it’s what we do everyday! We know that a little change can make a big difference. As we become part of a more and more digital world, how do we keep what we post online and our social media accessible? It’s simple: with alt text.

What exactly is ‘alt text’?

Alt text is short for alternative text. It’s a short textual description (roughly 300 characters) of the content of an image.

What’s it for?

It is used for a variety of reasons, for example if a web page is unable to load the image. But more importantly, it provides context of the visual content for those who are blind or visually impaired; the page content, including the alt text, can be read out by a screen reader.

How do I add alt text to my social media?

On Twitter, Facebook and Instagram adding alt text and improving your social media accessibility is an easy process. It takes no more than a minute and to make it even easier, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to walk you through the process.


A screenshot of 'Compose a tweet' on Twitter

1. Compose your tweet and add images
2. Click ‘Add description’


Screenshot of adding a description to a tweet

3. Write description and click ‘Apply’


Screenshot of writing a Facebook post and adding photos. On the photo there is a paintbrush icon.

1. Write post and add pictures.
2. Hover over the image and click the paintbrush icon.


Screenshot of the edit menu with 'alt text' selected and a description added.

3. Select ‘Alt text’ in the edit menu.
4. Write your description and click ‘Save’


Screenshot of 'new post' screen on Instagram

1. Upload photo and write a caption.
2. Click ‘Advanced settings’.


Screenshot of Instagram's advanced setting menu

3. Select ‘write alt text’,
4. On the next screen, write your alt text and then press ‘Done’.

And ta-da! You’re now a pro at making your social media accessible! Adding alt text to the images you post online means that everybody has the opportunity to enjoy the full context of what you’re sharing.

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