[NABS-L] News organizations implementing Accessibility Discussion

Chris Nusbaum cnusbaumnfb at gmail.com
Sun Mar 17 21:43:53 UTC 2019


I think this is a common problem for virtually all of us who use social media. It has been my experience, as well as that of many others, that many memes and other Internet trends are lost on us because they are in the form of a picture or some other graphic. Unfortunately, this often includes memes with text in them, such as jokes or inspirational quotes, because the text in question is embedded in the image. I'm often relieved when I find a video circulating around social media, only to find that it too is inaccessible because everything (including words) is happening visually over a backdrop of music which really has nothing to do with the video in question. Perhaps this is why many blind people gravitate toward Twitter, which is more text-based than most other social media platforms.

As I say, this is most often the unfortunate case with memes and similar entertainment content shared from friend to friend. However, it seems that you are referring to content put out by news outlets for informational purposes. Like you, I follow many local and national news sources on Facebook and Twitter, but for the most part I have been able to figure out the gist of a story from the caption posted below the photo. If there is a photo which I really need or want to get more information about, I usually screenshot the picture and run it through Seeing AI or BeSpecular. Of course this doesn't take anything away from the annoyance of a photo attached to an interesting post on Facebook without a description to give it context. Fortunately, the trend of adding descriptions to photos is gaining traction ever so slowly, but I agree with you that what we have is certainly not enough.

You say in the beginning of your note that you "came up with an idea to advocate to news organizations." You took a great first step—you identified the problem. Now I'm interested in hearing the solution you want to implement. What is the idea you have in mind? Thank you for bringing this topic up on the list.    

Chris Nusbaum

> On Mar 17, 2019, at 10:28 AM, Armando Vias via NABS-L <nabs-l at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Hey guys. Yesterday, I came up with an idea about advocating to news organizations about implementing accessibility to the photos they upload to their social media pages. What I am talking about is that the photos doesn't have much information. For example, I follow some meteorologists on Facebook, and guess what? They don't put photo descriptions on their Facebook pages! One photo might say, "No photo description available." Also, I created a poll as well about this topic. You can vote on my website at https://theblindadvocate.wordpress.com/vote/. I am wondering if other people on this mailing list faced similar issues accessing information in photos from news organizations.
> --
> Armando Vias
> Student
> Email: armando at theblindadvocate.com
> Website: https://theblindadvocate.wordpress.com
> Follow me on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/theblndadvocate
> -Mark A. Riccobono
> "The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day, we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want; blindness is not what holds you back. Together, with love, hope, and determination, we transform dreams into reality."
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