Accessibility improvements on Twitter

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Friday, 23 August 2013 17:17pm

Social media tool Twitter has announced its efforts to make its website more accessible to people with disabilities.

Their first blog, released yesterday, outlines improvements they have made to keyboard navigation on the website. According to the Twitter blog, pressing the K or J keys will now allow you to navigate between tweets. While using the Tab and Shift +Tab key will allow you to move between links within a tweet. Keyboard shortcuts allow people with mobility impairments to navigate the website through a button, providing an alternative to using mouse navigation. 

Screen reader users will also be able to use these keyboard shortcuts on the website in addition to the default shortcuts of the chosen screen reader. Screen readers allow blind or vision impaired users to navigate a website by providing audible feedback for the text and elements on the screen.

Twitter has said they are planning to release a series of blogs discussing their developments and efforts to improve the usability of the website. To assist this initiative, they have created an accessibility team account (@a11yteam) so that twitter users can send their feedback and also find updates on future developments.

Twitter has previously been rated as the worst website among the popular social media tools when assessed against the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. One of the key issues was the lack of keyboard navigation.

You can find out more information about social media for people with a disability by reading our SociABILITY guide.

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