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Social Media Accessibility

If you contribute to a social media property on behalf of WVU, the content you provide must be accessible.

What does this mean? For starters, please read our section on Accessibility for Content Creators. This gives you a high-level overview of how to write accessible content.

Captioning on Social Media

Some of the most influential content on social media is audio and video. WVU is federally required to provide text alternatives for multimedia (audio and video) according to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

To find out more about how to get started with captioning, see our guide:

Captioning Audio and Video

Alt Text on Social Media

One of the most important parts of making images accessible is to provide a text alternative. This is commonly referred to as "alt text". Instagram and Pinterest take the text written in your post and use it as alternate text for your included image. It is important to know how to write alt text so WVU's content is accessible everywhere.


Arrows and text showing how to enable alt text support on the accessibility preferences pane on the Twitter settings interface.

Twitter is one of the few platforms that lets you include custom alt text in your images. They have official documentation about how to enable alt text on Twitter.

Since Twitter does not enter alt text automatically, users must enter alt text when tweeting. If they don't, alt text will not be present and will be in violation of WVU's accessibility policies.

Screenshot of the Facebook UI showing where to find and edit alt text     


Facebook allows custom alt text. Please Follow their official alt text documentation for writing customized alt text. Ensure you include customized alt text with each Facebook post.

If you don't write customized alt text, Facebook uses machine learning to recognize what's in a photo. That leads to alt text like: Image may contain: sky, night and outdoor. While better than nothing, it is woefully vague. Always write custom alt text.


As of November 2018, Instagram lets users customize alt text. It uses artificial intelligence to automatically generate alt text, but WVU urges you customize the alt text for each Instagram post.

Instagram has provided detailed alt text instructions in their help center. Users may customize alt text at the time of posting via Advanced Settings or after posting via "Add Alt Text".

The add description button enables users to add alt text to images on LinkedIn.     


LinkedIn allows users to include alt text with photos uploaded to their platform. After uploading a photo, click the "Add Description" button to add alt text to your image.