disabilities, social media, design
Disability advocates are calling for social media site designers to focus on accessibility over flashy design. (Photo: Today Testing via Wikimedia Commons)

New Social Media Design Holding People with Disabilities Back

Social media companies have left people with disabilities behind when it comes to designing apps. The world of social media can do wonders for people with disabilities. It opens a world of communication that this population have been deprived of.

However, with the fad in technology leaning toward flair and away from functionality, the disabled community is being left in the dark.

Take the latest Twitter facelift for example. With its attempt to produce a continuous flow of tweets, it requires users to scroll up every time an update comes through. While this feature is a slight inconvenience for able-bodied users, it has the ability to cripple people with disabilities’ experience on the app or desktop site.

With social media becoming more vital to conduct business, it is crucial that people with disabilities have the ability to freely access platforms and communicate via social media outlets such as Twitter.

Related Story: Dow named one of the Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion

Outside of the office, social media gives people with disabilities a diving board where they can plunge into a more complete social life. With 17% of Americans meeting their significant others online, online dating plays into the hands of disabled bachelors and bachelorettes.

Technology also allows people with disabilities to perform vital tasks to maintain daily life such as shopping, ordering food and taking care of personal finances.

Advocates urge designers to consult disabled users early in the design process and put more weight on accessibility rather than aesthetics.

Access to social media could be a huge step forward for people with disabilities to further integrate into their communities, and advocates are urging web designers to take this population into account.

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