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Tag: Twitter

More than 100 teachers from across Europe participated in the SMILE (Social Media in Learning and Education) action and undertook a pedagogical journey to explore jointly the challenges and opportunities involved when using social media in learning and education.

The outcomes of the project, funded by a Digital Citizenship Research Grant from Facebook, are now published in a digital handbook. You can find pedagogical materials and resources from the learning laboratory with many valuable reflections and suggestions on some critical aspects of the use of social media as regards school policies, pedagogical principles, professional development, responsible use and challenges to adoption.

Unfortunately, the accessibility aspect was entirely ignored in this project. Improving the Accessibility of Social Media in Government is an excellent article that does address accessibility concerns of social media.

Have you ever observed how people with disabilities are experiencing your content on social media? Is someone who uses a screen reader or other assistive technology able to understand your content on Twitter or Facebook? Following video is a 20-minute sprint where you’ll learn specific tips for making your social media content more accessible. The video goes through tools and tactics you can use to help make sure your social media engagements are readable for all your communities.
Presenter: Scott Horvath, USGS
Produced by DigitalGov University, an initiative of the General Services Administration.
Source: DigitalGov University

Using social media is for everyone, also for people with disabilities. However, many accessibility issues arise, which were strikingly discussed in the presentation “Social Media Accessibility: Where Are We Today? A modest attempt at awaking the giants” by Denis Boudreau at CSUN 2012.

Media Access Australia now released a nice list of guidelines how a person with disabilities can use YouTube (guidelines) , Twitter (guidelines) and Facebook (guidelines).

TechCrunch posted a very interesting article on switch activated typing via … breathing. They demonstrate it through an accessible tweeting app for the iPad. The idea is based on a scanning principle.
A Japanese company called TechFirm [JP] has just a released a very special (and free) Twitter client for the iPad in the App Store [iTunes, bilingual English and Japanese]: “Breath Bird” lets people who can’t use their fingers and have problems speaking post to Twitter by breathing into the iPad’s mic.
The way it works is that when you fire up the app, your timeline appears on the left hand side of the screen (it refreshes automatically to keep things simple).
On the right, an on-screen keyboard with all characters from a-z split into five rows appears. Breath Bird starts highlighting each row, one after the other, from top to bottom. If the row in which the character you’d like to “type” is highlighted, breathe into the mic to make the app highlight all characters in that row one after the other, from left to right.
Once the character in question is highlighted, breathe again and it appears in the tweet bubble on top of the screen – repeat to create entire words and sentences that can be posted to Twitter in the same way.

Following is a lightening presentation by Dennis Lembree, creator of Accessible Twitter, at CSUN 2010 Tweetup in San Diego, California. Accessible Twitter is an alternative to the website. It is designed to be easier to use and is optimized for disabled users. The web site application is now in Beta stage.

Via, you can now also follow all our postings via Twitter. Equally, you can do so using Accessible Twitter. Accessible Twitter is essentially an alternative to using the main Twitter site. You go along to the homepage, log in with your usual Twitter account details, and use it in exactly the same way as you would the regular site. All the functionality that you’d expect is there – the Tweet roll, your status, mentions & messages, plus access to search, trending topics and popular links.
In addition, Accessible Twitter is:

  1. Fully keyboard accessible;
  2. Marked up semantically with headings optimised for screen reader users, and;
  3. Fully functional with javascript disabled.

There are also some really nice touches that go the extra mile, such as audio cues when the tweet character limit is almost reached (as well as the visual counter), and feedback after Ajax actions so unsighted users know what’s happened (see the full list of Accessible Twitter features).

Twitter Access For All screenshot

Twitter Access For All screenshot