Digital Accessibility

USC is committed to working towards an equitable inclusion of all members of the Trojan community — digital accessibility at USC is one of the key tenets. We invite the everyone from the USC community to visit Office of Institutional Accessibility website for more information about accessibility compliance at USC. The following guidelines help ensure that all the digital properties owned by USC are accessible. This includes websites, blog posts or articles on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter; videos created for YouTube channels related to university work, etc.


Website and blog accessibility tips

  • Use HTML headings to structure content so non-sighted users can navigate the page.
  • Test your pages using only a keyboard, for those that are unable to use a mouse while navigating your site.
  • Include alt text for images, so screen readers can understand your message.
  • When color is used make sure that it is ADA compliant and provides enough contrast for a low vision reader.
  • Use a minimum 40×40 pixel clickable area for all touch controls.
  • Descriptively name links to help screen reader users.

Additional resource: W3C’s Designing for Web Accessibility


Social Media and Videos

Follow this guide to create posts that are accessible to followers with disabilities, difficulties or impairments with vision, hearing, cognition, or mobility.

Tools to consider

  • Screen Magnifier. This is a software that magnifies the screen and displays a portion of it enlarged. People with vision impairments primarily use it and there are around ten times as many people who use screen magnifiers over screen readers.
  • Screen Readers. This is an assistive technology, primarily used by people with vision impairments. It converts text, buttons, images and other screen elements into speech or braille.
  • Captions. Provide content for people with hearing impairments and are used by people who process written information better than audio.
  • Closed Captions can be turned on and off and are designed to supplement dialogue with other relevant parts of the soundtrack. Such as describing background noises, phones ringing and other audio cues that need describing. This requires a sidecar file (a separate file uploaded to play along with a video.)
  • Open Captions are burned into the video file as text graphics and cannot be turned off.
  • Subtitles. This provides a text alternative for the dialogue transcribed into a language. Standard subtitles assume the viewer can hear the audio. For example, a phone ringing does not need to be included.
  • Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SCHH). Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SCHH) are written for viewers who may not be able to hear the audio. SDHH contains information about background sounds and speaker changes, along with a translation of the script.
  • Switches.  A switch is an assistive technology primarily used by people with motor impairments to access and control computers, smartphones, electric wheelchairs, smart home appliances, and more.

Using Video Content

Facebook options for video captions:

  1. Use the autogenerate function during upload (must click “Autogenerate” or already have “Autogenerate captions for future uploads” checked), with the option to edit after.
  2. Upload SRT file (pay attention to naming requirements)
  3. Manually write and input.

Currently, Facebook Stories does not work with screen readers. Video posts with audio should have text added for context.

Instagram options for video captions:

  • Newsfeed Posts. Videos must have captions burned into the file before being uploaded.
  • Instagram Stories. Video posts with audio should have text added for context since this does not work with screen readers.
  • IGTV. Files must be burned with captions before uploading even if IGTV can autogenerate.

Twitter options for video captions

  1. Drop a YouTube video link on Twitter after it has been captioned on YouTube.
  2. Alternatively, you can add closed caption SRT files to videos in Twitter Media Studio if you have access, or visit Twitter Ads if you do not.
  3. You can also publish a video with captions burned in if you already have it for other social media platforms.

LinkedIn

  • To learn more about how to upload videos with SRT files, visit LinkedIn.
  • If you already have a video with captions burned for other social media platforms, this can also be published in a post.

YouTube

  • YouTube will automatically generate captions and transcripts. However, captions have limited reliability with 85% to 90% accuracy. Please review and edit them once they are complete.

Using Hashtags

  • Capitalize the first letter of each word, often called “camel case” or “camel backing,” to create more accessibility.
  • Do not lowercase all words in a hashtag. This does not cue screen readers that there are multiple words present and users will usually read the phrase as one long word. For example:
    Do: #FightOn
    Don’t: #fighton

ALT Text Tags

Alternative (ALT) text tags are descriptions of images that are read aloud to visually impaired users on a screen reader.

  • Adding ALT text allows authors to include pictures but still provide the content in an alternative text-based format.
  • When a page fails to load an image, alternative text will be displayed in its place.
  • Often used on websites and in emails, they are also essential to have on social media.
  • While many platforms attempt to autogenerate ALT text, it is recommended and extremely easy to input it at the time of posting and scheduling.
  • Do not repeat the caption as ALT text, the screen reader will repeat the content twice.
  • Repeating important details such as time is acceptable.
  • Use a brief but specific description of the image.
  • If posting an image of a digital flyer, always ensure contrast of the design considers colorblind viewers and that important details are contained within the caption and the ALT text. 

Additional Resources: Google Images Best Practices