I had to suppress the urge to just title this post “More good news, everyone!” which I probably will do anyways, so don’t know why I wrote that 😄 but some more good accessibility news that I found out recently, and on another Tuesday post to boot! Woohoo!
This may have been active for a while, but I just found out a few days ago when I went onto the normal version of Facebook to message a friend of mine. I usually use the mobile version on my desktop, because it’s a lot more light weight, and doesn’t lag as much on my computer, so I didn’t realize that the alt text feature Facebook has been testing on mobile devices, has moved to desktop as well! This feature is an AI that tries it’s best to describe a picture, with different words and phrases in its database. Right now, it’s rather bare bones, and just describes basic things in an image: for example, I’ve scrolled past a few things and it says something like “Picture may contain: jewelry”. I’d like it to be a loooot more descript honestly, but this is a good start, and once again it’s just such a great feeling to scroll by a picture on Facebook, and get a basic description for a picture. Now all the technology needs to do, is actually explain what a person is doing in a picture, or try to explain what the piece of jewelry looks like and we’re golden. Though, I wonder if it’s used enough, it will start doing that? I’ve been trying to get myself used to normal Facebook, and it’s a hard transition to make: like I said, it likes to lag, and I’ve had to restart my screenreader a few times just to be able to scroll down my timeline, but I do really like it a lot more than the mobile version of Facebook, so I think I will just tough it out through the learning curve that tends to come with learning something new. I also have to take into account the fact that my computer is generally laggy, and this may not be the case on other computers.
You can learn more about Facebook’s alt text feature, and how they are helping accessibility for the blind here.