A blind man’s plea to Twitter has recently gone viral, with his tweet being viewed over 24 million times.
Rob Long, an Afghanistan veteran who was blinded in 2010 while on patrol, recently revealed his struggle of using the Internet as a blind user.
In today’s world that is cluttered with viral Internet images, from Grumpy Cat memes and blue or gold dresses, to the latest viral YouTube video, users with visual impairments can be left completely out of the loop. Instead, they will be left with a voiceover that simply says, “Box contains image.”
We’ve probably all experienced those moments when friends or colleagues are discussing the latest viral craze online and not having any idea what they’re talking about. For visually impaired Internet users, these feelings of detachment and confusion can be a daily occurrence.
Rob took things into his own hands by posting a message on Twitter outlining the simple steps (see his message below) users can take to ensure their profiles are accessible to all users, allowing a more satisfying Internet experience for everyone.
I’m a blind twitter user. There are a lot of us out there. Increase your ability to reach us and help us interact with your pictures, it’s really simple and makes a huge difference to our twitter experiance allowing us to see your images our way. Thanks for the description 😎 pic.twitter.com/hCsjoFdmev— Rob Long (@_Red_Long) January 3, 2018
When users turn on image descriptions, it allows blind or visually impaired users to understand the full extent of what is being shown on screen through audio narration, rather than a box containing an image which offers no insight or clarification on what is being shown on screen.
Rob’s viral tweet may prove just how far the Internet and businesses need to go to improve their accessibility to all users, but it also confirms just how seriously all users are taking the topic of web accessibility. As of writing, Rob’s tweet has been shared over 145,000 times and has over 170,000 likes, with many of these users admitting they didn’t know about Twitter’s accessibility features until Rob raised awareness.
Begin taking your steps today to improving your website’s accessibility by booking a free demo of Recite Me’s toolbar. Much like the Twitter feature, the Recite Me toolbar also includes audio narration of images, ensuring visually impaired users can get the most out of your website (grumpy cats included). Visit http://www.reciteme.com/book-a-demo and book your free demo today.