News from Northwest ADA Center – Idaho

People with disabilities can find emotional support on social media, it can help them feel connected in society.But what are they looking for in a platform? Accessibility!

This is obvious, but social media interfaces need to be easily accessible for any disability. Whether that’s limited finemotor movement, or sensory disabilities it requires ease of access, minimal typing, and access to tools for rendering content in alternative formats like text to voice or photo descriptions. Pop ups can interfere with screen readers. Platforms like Twitter should always strike a careful balance between offering lots of choices and sophisticated content, and overwhelming users with cool features that are too hard to learn and adapt.

They (and everyone else) need credible information, not rumors and conspiracy theories. And a huge plus is safety. Being free from bullying or harassment. Free speech environments with little or no moderation can easily devolve into places where few disabled people will want to spend time.

CAB (currently able bodied) people need to reflect on how they post about disabilities. From offensive terminology, to disability porn, these conversations can hurt a person with a disability both personally and for the community at large, who often love to play into the “isn’t it inspirational” themed content.

Becoming more accessible is a challenge for both existing social media platforms and any that are currently being designed.



For more information about the ADA contact:

Dana Gover, MPA, and ACTCP Certification, ADA Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator 

For more information about ADA Technical Assistance visit the NW ADA Center Idaho website:
Phone: Voice and Text 208-841-9422
Idaho Relay Service: 7