How to Ensure Your Instagram Account is ADA Compliant: Making Your Instagram More Accessible

By: Ellen Bartolino

In today’s digital age, ensuring accessibility on social media platforms like Instagram is crucial for creating an inclusive online environment. With millions of Instagram users worldwide, it’s essential to make your Instagram content accessible to everyone, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing or visually impaired. By following accessibility guidelines and implementing best practices, you can significantly enhance the Instagram experience for all users. This guide will walk you through the steps to make your Instagram account ADA compliant and provide tips on making your social media posts more accessible.

How to ensure your instagram account is ada compliant

Why Accessibility Matters on Instagram

Ensuring accessibility on Instagram is more than just meeting legal requirements; it’s about creating an inclusive environment where all users, regardless of their abilities, can engage with and enjoy your content. By making your Instagram account accessible, you not only expand your audience but also demonstrate a commitment to social responsibility and inclusivity.

The Role of Accessibility in Inclusive Social Media

An accessible Instagram account ensures that everyone, including those who are visually impaired, deaf, or hard of hearing, can interact with your content. This is particularly important on a social media platform like Instagram, where visuals play a significant role. For instance, providing alt text for images and captions for videos helps users who rely on screen readers to understand and appreciate your posts. By incorporating accessibility features, you make your content more inclusive and enhance the overall user experience.

When I started focusing on making my Instagram content more accessible, I realized the significant impact it had on my audience. I added alt text to all my images, ensuring that users who rely on screen readers could understand the visual content. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with several followers expressing their appreciation for the effort to make my posts inclusive. One follower, who is visually impaired, mentioned how much easier it was to enjoy my content with the added image descriptions.

Impact of Accessibility Guidelines on Instagram

Adhering to accessibility guidelines such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 AA is crucial for making your content accessible. These guidelines recommend practices like ensuring a proper contrast ratio for text and background colors, providing closed captions for videos, and using descriptive alternative text for images. Following these guidelines not only helps in making your Instagram content accessible but also improves the usability of your account for all users. For example, by adding alt text to your images, you ensure that screen reader users can understand the context of your visuals, making your content more engaging and accessible.

How to Make Your Instagram Account ADA Compliant

Making your Instagram account ADA compliant involves implementing several best practices and utilizing the platform’s accessibility features. Here are some essential steps to ensure your Instagram content is accessible to all users.

Using Alt Text and Alternative Text for Images

Alt text (alternative text) is a written description of an image that helps screen reader users understand the visual content. Instagram allows you to add alt text to your images, which can significantly enhance accessibility. When writing alt text, make sure it is descriptive and provides context. For example, instead of simply stating “a dog,” you could write “a golden retriever playing fetch in a sunny park.”

Adding Captions and Subtitles to Videos

Captions and subtitles are crucial for users who are deaf or hard of hearing. By adding captions to your videos, you ensure that your content is accessible to a broader audience. Instagram provides tools to add closed captions to your videos, making it easier for users to follow along with the audio content. Additionally, captions can be beneficial for users in noisy environments or those who prefer to watch videos without sound.

Accessibility Features in Instagram Stories

Instagram stories can be particularly challenging for accessibility, but there are ways to make them more inclusive. Use text overlays to describe what is happening in the story, and make sure any critical information is conveyed in a text format that screen readers can read. Additionally, consider adding alt text to images and captions to videos within your stories to enhance accessibility.

In my journey to make my Instagram stories more accessible, I began incorporating captions and text overlays. This change was particularly appreciated by my followers who are deaf and hard of hearing. One follower shared that they could finally engage with my Instagram stories without missing out on important information. It was a gratifying experience to see how these small adjustments made a big difference in creating an inclusive environment on my social media platform.

Best Practices for Accessible Instagram Posts

Best Practices for Accessible Instagram Posts

Following best practices can make your Instagram posts more accessible and ensure a better experience for all users.

Capitalize Each Word in Hashtags

When using hashtags, it is essential to capitalize each word to make them easier to read for everyone, including screen reader users. For example, instead of #accessibilitybestpractices, use #AccessibilityBestPractices. This practice helps screen readers correctly interpret each word in the hashtag, making your content more accessible.

Using Emojis and Their Impact on Accessibility

Emojis can add personality to your posts, but they can also be problematic for screen reader users if overused or placed in the middle of sentences. Use emojis sparingly and place them at the end of your sentences. This ensures that screen readers can interpret your message without unnecessary interruptions.

Ensuring Instagram Live and Stories Are Accessible

For Instagram Live sessions, provide real-time closed captions to make your content accessible to users who are deaf or hard of hearing. You can use third-party services or Instagram’s built-in tools to add captions. Similarly, ensure that your Instagram Stories include text descriptions and captions for all video content to make them accessible to everyone.

A 2023 case study by Instagram demonstrated the effectiveness of implementing accessibility features on user engagement. The study focused on a brand that revamped its Instagram feed to include alt text, captions, and high contrast ratios for text. The brand saw a 25% increase in engagement from users with disabilities and received numerous positive comments about the improved accessibility.

Implementing Accessibility in Instagram Content

Ensuring that your Instagram content is accessible involves several key practices that make your posts inclusive and user-friendly.

How to Add Captions to Your Instagram Posts

To add captions to your posts, use the caption field provided by Instagram. Captions not only describe the visual content but also provide additional context that can be beneficial for all users. Make sure your captions are clear and descriptive. For instance, describe the actions, people, and settings in the image or video to give a comprehensive understanding.

To add captions to your posts, use the caption field provided by Instagram

Making Instagram Content Accessible to Everyone

To make your Instagram content accessible to everyone, consider the following practices:

  • Use high-contrast colors to ensure the text is readable against the background.
  • Choose clear and legible fonts to enhance readability.
  • Provide alternative text for all images, ensuring that screen readers can convey the content to visually impaired users.
  • Add descriptive alt text to videos, explaining the visual elements that are not conveyed through audio.

Adhering to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

Following the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 AA is essential for creating accessible content. These guidelines recommend practices such as:

  • Providing alt-text for images and videos.
  • Ensuring a proper contrast ratio between text and background colors.
  • Using descriptive headings and labels to improve navigation for screen reader users.
  • Making sure interactive elements, like buttons and links, are accessible via keyboard navigation.

By adhering to these guidelines, you ensure that your Instagram content is not only compliant but also user-friendly for all visitors.

According to a 2023 report by the World Health Organization, over 2.2 billion people globally have a vision impairment or blindness. This statistic underscores the importance of making visual content on platforms like Instagram accessible to all users.


Making your Instagram account accessible is a commitment to inclusivity and a better user experience for everyone. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your content is engaging and accessible to a broader audience. Implementing practices such as using alt text, adding captions and subtitles, and adhering to accessibility guidelines will help create an inclusive social media environment. Remember, making your content accessible is not just about compliance; it’s about making a positive impact and ensuring that your message reaches as many people as possible.

Create an inclusive social media environment

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make my Instagram images accessible for screen reader users?

To make your images accessible, use alt text. Alt text is a written description of an image that screen readers will read to users. Instagram allows you to add alt text to your images, ensuring that people using screen readers can understand your visual content.

Are there accessibility features available for Instagram Stories?

Yes, Instagram has a variety of accessibility features for Stories. While Instagram stories are not accessible by default, you can add text overlays, captions, and descriptions to make them more inclusive. Additionally, Instagram is continually updating its features to provide better accessibility support.

How can I ensure my Instagram content is ADA-compliant?

To ensure ADA compliance, include alt text for images, add captions for videos, and use high contrast ratios for text and background colors. These practices make your Instagram content more accessible to everyone, including people who are deaf and hard of hearing or visually impaired.

What is the importance of using proper hashtags on Instagram for accessibility?

Using proper hashtags enhances accessibility. Capitalize the first letter of each word in your hashtags (e.g., #AccessibilityMatters) to make them easier to read. This practice helps screen readers correctly interpret each word, making your content more inclusive.

How does Instagram’s artificial intelligence help with accessibility?

Instagram automatically generates alt text using artificial intelligence, which helps describe images for screen reader users. While this AI-generated text can be helpful, it’s best to manually write alt text to ensure accuracy and detail.

Author Bio

Ellen Bartolino

Ellen is a seasoned author and communication expert, with a particular focus on Instagram. Her extensive knowledge of the platform has allowed her to create engaging and effective content for businesses and individuals alike. Ellen has a proven track record of crafting compelling Instagram captions and influencer marketing.