Accessibility Matters: Supporting Inclusive Social Media in Academic Libraries

  • Tyne Stanley The Open University
Keywords: social media, academic libraries, inclusivity, accessibility, university libraries


While visual content provides a fun and expressive outlet for people, the experience isn’t the same for everyone, particularly when it comes to social media. For a large portion of the population, some kinds of content are inaccessible. The Open University’s mission is to be open to people, places, methods, and ideas, and this means that a commitment to equality is embedded in all that we do, including our social media activity. People of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities study with The OU – for instance, 30,791 students declaring a disability studied with us in 2019/20 – so it is crucial that we consider inclusive design practices on social media to benefit as many people as possible.

This reflective piece will look at the journey taken by the OU Library’s Engagement and Insight team to create an ‘Inclusive & Accessible Social Media’ guide, that can be shared amongst other academic libraries and beyond, to help them also use social media in a way that promotes diversity, equality, and inclusion. If the effort is made to make content inclusive and accessible, then more people can enjoy it, feel connected with it, and engage with it.