Threads Is Inaccessible
[Author’s note: At the time of writing this, these accessibility needs have not been addressed. It is my hope that this will soon be outdated and will give us a lesson to focus on Universal Design from the start. Estimated reading time: 2-minutes]
Marriage Equality Does Not Exist
It’s Disability Pride Month, so now seems as good a time as any to remind ourselves to include disabled folks in our work as wedding vendors. We keep referencing marriage equality as if it’s a thing that exists, when most disabled people can’t wed without losing lifesaving benefits.
Many of us wedding vendors have rushed to Threads (myself included), ignoring the barriers Meta created around accessibility. @upgradeaccessibility recently reminded us that “Social media is vital for many in the disabled and chronically ill community.” This makes me reflect on who we assume our audience is and why.
• User-generated alt text for images and GIFs
• In-app captioning for videos
• A setting to stop media from auto-playing
• A setting to reduce motion
• A dynamic font or customizability
• Hashtags that work
More than one-third of queer adults identify as disabled. If our values of inclusivity include the LGBTQIA+ community, but ignore disability activism, we might want to ask ourselves why.
Whenever we push a release, we should be incorporating the principle of Universal Design from the start, not as an afterthought. Hiring disabled folks along the way to develop products, resources, or websites is an essential part of successful launches (“nothing about us without us”).
@kelsey_lindell describes this process as a “funnel of oppression” in a recent post about Threads, accessibility, and disability inclusion. She talks about how when people with unchecked implicit biases (like ableism), create systems, they don’t factor in disability needs. This furthers their biases by having them normalized and reaching more people.
Our urgency to become viral can be tied to capitalism. Next time we find ourselves trying to share a hot take on Threads, we might want to ask ourselves who we are posting for and why.
Next steps: Following more Disabled Activists
There are many disabled account creators who have been banned for discussing this topic. Non-disabled folks need to invest in disability activism, because inclusion matters across the board. Consider following more disabled wedding vendors, making content more accessible, and amplifying disabled creators.