A new incentive brought in this week is allowing users of Facebook who are blind to ‘see’ photographs.
Screen readers (Assistive Technology) are available for blind people to assist in computer usage.
However this technology can only read text, and only reports that a picture has been shared- not the content of the image.
The new technology, automatic alt text, reads the content of the image by describing the picture itself.
A few days into the launch the technology appears to be creating excitement. At least in technology sectors.
Rhianon E. Gutierrez (@RhianonElan) April 06, 2016
The increase in picture usage is not just seen on Facebook but other social platforms such as the picture led Instagram.
Automatic Alt Text is a small step in including blind people in the rapidly rising usage of photography in social media.
There is no doubt that this technology is a wonderful step forward in creating a fully inclusive online society.
The fact that it took Facebook over ten years to create however shows how far we have to go in increasing awareness of disabilities online.