Free accessibility tips from my wife, a professional UX designer who does a lot of accessibility work:

1. Keep your image descriptions short, simple, and descriptive. Try to limit it to a single tweet-length.

2. Don’t do both alt-text AND a visible image description. This will result in screenreaders reading your caption twice.

3. Use camel case in your hashtags.

@alpine_thistle that last item is interesting. Does camel case make text easier to read for screen readers?

@Argus yes, it’ll read the individual words in the hashtag

@alpine_thistle Interesting! Mastodon's web interface seems to violate #2. To be clear, she's saying that providing the same content in both the title="" and alt="" makes it harder for folks who use screen readers, is that right?

@firewally @alpine_thistle Yeah don't bother with title test, alt text is the one to use.

@error_1202 Assuming you use the Mastodon web interface, do you find it annoying/hard to use because of this?

@alpine_thistle I didn't know it had a name! I try to use this all the time, but Masto often has a habit of removing the Caps from hashtags, which I find really annoying.

@GwenfarsGarden @alpine_thistle Yeah, we type in hashtags manually a lot as a result of this, but Mastodon's web interface has an annoying issue where it refuses to close the suggested hashtags box unless we click outside the text box entirely.

If we move on and type other stuff elsewhere, the moment we hit the spacebar or enter key, it sends us right back to the end of that hashtag and fucks up whatever we were in the middle of typing.

@KitsuneAlicia @alpine_thistle I have to watch I don't get caught with this. And really, you should have to watch for this kind of thing...


I use short descriptions if it's a photo of my cat lounging in the sun. My art is pretty abstract, so my descriptions then are pretty long. I treat it like a challenge to meet the character limit and not need two posts to describe a single image. :D

@alpine_thistle I have a few questions about how I'm doing captions, if y'all are able to answer?

For image descriptions - I try to put them as alt-text and as a comment (Insta, Pixelfed). Does that help with the reading twice?
And, if the image is just the same as the caption text, is it better to forego the alt-text for that?

@bouncinglime My understanding is that there should only be one thing for the screen reader to read. Alt text OR a comment OR a caption

@alpine_thistle Is it still true that emoji and other weird upper Unicode letters in display names screws up screen readers?

@alpine_thistle i struggle with 1 quite a bit. i never know how much is /too much/ when dealing with complex images. my desire is to provide some context for the sight impaired, but i never know where the line should be drawn.

thanks to your wife, this is great info to share!

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