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14 October 2022

Twitter has recently announced that it is expanding on an opt-in feature to ensure images on the platform are more accessible for people who use screen readers. The social network is releasing a reminder with image descriptions to urge users to add descriptions to the photos that they share when they post. The alt text reminder too, has been available since July to a smaller number of users, but has now expanded globally.

Screen reader software, used by people who are blind and with vision impairments, are able to detect the written descriptions with a screen reader or braille display. Twitter users will need to opt into this feature by turning on the prompts once on their account settings, which will then sync all their devices. Disability lobbyists have advocated for this change for some time; and encourage Twitter to go further with this addition. Gerard Cohen, Software Engineering Manager on Twitter’s Accessibility Experience team, maintains that while this is only one step, Twitter will continue with accessibility updates.

This is an important step towards accessibility and inclusivity becoming mainstream for people with disabilities.

To read further about this feature, please click Visit the Twitter alt text reminder guidance page.