In our newsletter series “Ask an Expert”, Laetitia Thompson, our Senior Digital Content Editor, answers a question that was asked by one of our followers, Anna, through our Facebook.
How do I make hashtags more accessible for screen-readers?
Thanks for your question, Anna!
When a screen reader encounters a hashtag in a post, it will read the hashtag symbol (#) followed by the text associated with the hashtag. Here are some best practices for making hashtags more accessible for screen reader users:
- Use CamelCase or CapitalizeEachWord: When creating multi-word hashtags, use CamelCase (e.g., #AccessibleTechnology) or capitalize the first letter of each word (e.g., #AccessibleTechnology) to make it easier for screen readers to pronounce each word separately.
- Avoid Special Characters and Punctuation: Keep hashtags simple and avoid special characters, symbols, or punctuation within the hashtag text. Screen readers may not interpret these characters correctly.
- Use Clear and Descriptive Hashtags: Make sure that your hashtags are clear and relevant to the content they are associated with. Avoid using ambiguous or generic hashtags that do not provide context.
- Provide Alternative Text (Alt Text): If your post includes images related to a hashtag, use alt text to describe the image content. Screen readers can read the alt text aloud to provide context for the image.
- Test with Screen Readers: Before posting, use screen reader software to test how your hashtags and content are read aloud. This can help you identify any issues and make necessary adjustments for accessibility.
- Avoid Overuse: Don’t overload your posts with too many hashtags, as it can make the content confusing and cluttered for all users, including those using screen readers.
By following these best practices, you can ensure that your hashtags are more accessible and enhance the overall accessibility of your social media content for all users, including those who rely on screen readers.