Memes are not Accessible

Hi again, so I am in week two of my internship and things have been progressing nicely. I have been working in the library doing a variety of projects. Currently I am making interview logs and transcribing oral histories of people who have contributed to the blind community in a significant manner.

This past week I have become closer with my fellow interns. We have been eating out (a little too much), doing karaoke, and other “Intern Shenanigans”. These people are seriously great people through and through. All of them are impressive in their own way, and all are teaching me both about myself, and a culture I have been oblivious to.

For this blog experience, I wanted to talk about something that happened last night. One of our interns had to move her room due to the NFB hosting a stem program for high school kids. The floor we were on needed space for one of the high school students so she was reassigned to another floor. Of course we all helped her move, during which we lived streamed us singing show tunes in the hall.

This intern asked what a meme said and noted that the meme was inaccessible because there wasn’t a caption to describe what was in the image. She explained that it was “annoying” and explained that many blind people use Apple’s iPhone because it is accessible whereas Androids tend not to be. iPhones allow its users to have their phone speak what text in various applications. This means that they are able to have access to most everything a smart phone does. One of the few things that it doesn’t do is read memes  because they are an image, not a text file. As a boundless optimist, she was quite disappointed because this particular meme was something that was reflective about the Orlando shooting but was uplifting in nature. This intern is the most upbeat, optimism person I have met in a long time. It was pretty jarring when I heard that disappointment in her voice due to almost missing out on a positive message. Having become friends with many blind people on Facebook, I decided that I would start putting captions on my memes so they could know what was in the pictures. A benefit of doing this for the last week is that I don’t nearly share as much junk since I have to write out what the meme or picture says. It doesn’t take more than 60 seconds but those 60 seconds give you pause to sit and reflect if you really want to share the image you are sharing.

An example of a photo caption:

Getting homework done! [ Photo of my MacBook Air next to a Starbucks Strawberry Acai refresher on a rustic looking table]

Getting home work done! [ Photo of my MacBook Air next to a Starbucks Strawberry Acai refresher on a rustic looking table ] photo 13406747_147259652358282_8286785439219013627_n_zps3lxmyw9e.jpg

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