Tips for Twitter Sociability: social media for people with disability

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Tips for Twitter

Sociability: social media for people with disability


Twitter is a popular social networking tool that allows users to send short messages of up to 140 characters known as ‘tweets’. These tweets are then published online and can be publicly viewed. Twitter users can post their own tweets, follow the tweets of other users and contribute to a wider online discussion based on a particular topic or event.


Twitter allows you to share your thoughts, participate in discussions and engage with other people based on your interests. It also allows you to keep up-to-date with people, organisations and developments.


  • Tweet: a message sent on Twitter that is up to 140 characters in length.

  • Followers: people who have subscribed to your tweets.

  • Hashtag (#): this allows you to tweet on a popular Twitter topic by including the ‘#’ symbol at the beginning of a word, such as ‘#weather’.

  • Retweet (RT): forwarding another user’s tweet to your followers.


  1. Sign up: go to the Twitter website and follow the instructions listed under the heading ‘New to Twitter?’

  2. Adjusting settings: select your username in the top-right corner and then select ‘Settings’ to change information such as your profile, account, password, notifications, design preferences, privacy settings and to set up mobile tweets via text messaging.

Now you’re ready to go. Here are a few things you may like to try:

  • Sending a tweet: type in a message and press the ‘Tweet’ button.

  • Follow other people’s tweets: enter the person’s name in the search box, and select the ‘follow’ button.

  • Tweeting a specific person: type the ‘@’ symbol followed by the username of the person you want to tweet, then the message. For example, @juliesmith Hello! How are you?

  • Tweeting by topic: type the ‘#’ symbol to participate in a group conversation. For example, I like #icecream would add your tweet to a conversation about ice cream.


People with disabilities who use Twitter have provided some tips and tricks on how to overcome some of its accessibility issues:

  • Easy Chirp accessible portal: instead of using the Twitter website, try this accessible alternative

  • Mobile Twitter website: another alternative portal is the mobile site

  • Twitter apps: Accessible Twitter apps for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad include include the main Twitter app itself, Twitterrific, Twittelator for iPad, Tweetosaurus, Tweetero and TweetList Pro (links via

  • Accessibility hashtags: popular accessibility chat uses #a11y and #axs.

  • Disability-related tweets: follow organisations that provide disability-related information through Twitter such as Media Access Australia @mediaaccessaus, ACCAN @accan_au or @ABCRampUp.


Additional Twitter accessibility resources and step-by-step instructions can be found at:

  • The Online Media section of the Media Access Australia website:

  • Easy Chirp accessible Twitter website:

  • Mobile Twitter website:

  • AppleVis accessible apps:

  • Twitter help centre:

  • Contact Twitter:

For more information about accessing social media, visit the Media Access Australia website or follow @mediaaccessaus on Twitter.
This resource is provided by Media Access Australia with funding received from the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN).

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