Did you know that Instagram recently introduced automatic alternative text? Yeah, me either. With more than 285 million people in the world with visual impairments, this is a game changer. This is needed and… It only seems fair.
So what is alternative text? It’s where the feature uses object recognition to generate a description of a photograph, so that the screen reader tells a visually impaired person the items in a photo. Pretty cool huh?
The part that I like the most, is that YOU can add alternative text. You just simply go to post your photo, and before hitting ‘share’, you can select advanced settings and write your alt text in there. Alternatively, you can select an already posted photo, choose the three little dots at the top, choose edit, and add it in from there. Tada!
You’re probably wondering why I’m posting this… Well, for starters, I know that a lot of Photographer have trouble thinking about what to write with their posts. Writing doesn’t come easy to everyone! But when you go to explain what you see, like you would to a visually impaired person, it makes you stop and look at the photo and really feel every little detail of it. What you write here, with this mindset, allows you to write an emotive piece that goes along with the photo. Copy and paste that gold into your regular caption… Game changer!!
The biggest reason i’m writing this though, is that my brother is blind. There are so many elements to this impairment and growing up with someone like this that I needed to blog it… Because visually impaired people deserve the right to access social media, inspiring images, and everything that instagram has to offer, too.
I’ve known what it’s like now for 32 years, to explain to a blind person the new town we are visiting, the view that we’re looking at, the way that my daughter, his niece looks, the way that my daughter is dancing, or even smiling! Or frowning.. I’ve had to tell him that she is reaching out for his hand. Or that i’m coming in for a hug. It’s explaining the simplest things like a gutter ahead or a step.. It’s explaining the way that a person looks at another in a movie… or a play. Or every little aspect of a sunset so that they too, can experience it.
So with that… I went in to a rabbit hole and dug out images that make me feel, all in black and white because that stuff gets me in the heart. These aren’t the best of the best for the year, or anything like that. If anything.. These are the ones less likely posted. The ones that are a little off centre, out of the norm.. Mostly anyway.
So add that alt text.. everyone deserves to feel your images. Why limit it to only feeling it with the eyes?