Since @lrhodes just recently suggested that there should be a feature to hide inaccessible posts, and @gemlog reminded me today that folks might not even realize their names and toots might be hard for some people to read unless they are told, I guess it is my duty now to write another round of educational posts.
Hmm, this isn't really my area of expertise ... maybe I should just go find some old one and reboost?
Nah, let's do this.
In this thread, I'll list a couple suggestions for #Accessibility adjustments you can do to help out people who are #Blind, #VisuallyImpaired, or those who for other reasons use a #ScreenReader. Boosts appreciated!
But before I start:
If you can't do these things, that's fine. It is not my intention to bash other disabilities. The ways our lives suck are different, but we still should get along. You all are, after all, awesome people!
And if you just don't feel like doing them, that's OK. We are used to it. :)
Some people on the Fedi can't see your memes, doggos, flowers, art. That doesn't mean we wouldn't want to enjoy them.
There are also those who have to browse on data, and turned loading images off to save it. Those things eat up quite a bit of bandwidth!
And there are those who have trouble figuring out what they are looking at. Maybe because of the way their brain works, maybe because your image isn't clear to everyone.
You can help all of those by writing a caption for your image.
It doesn't need to be an essay. Even just a few words will do. Enough to explain the joke, or the cute pose your kitten is making. Don't worry about it; just write something!
If you have trouble remembering to do so, and would like a reminder, follow @PleaseCaption
Emojis are a wonderful invention! They help us humans, emotional as we normally are, express those emotions in places where voice tone and facial expressions aren't available. Much better than trying to put those feelings into words, right?
Well, people using a screen reader (a software that allows people, primarily visually impaired ones, to read what is on the screen using text to speech) still hear those emojis as words.
For example, 😉 is read as "graphic Winking Face", with graphic of course explaining what kind of element it is.
And by default for most screen readers, each graphic is on its own line.
So, what this means is that if you put 3 emojis in your name, your name will be 4 lines long to us. I know some of you like having emojis in your name, but if you could at least limit them to <=3, that'd be lovely.
And if you put a clapping emoji after every word, they'll be on separate lines, too. So maybe don't do that either? 🤷♀️
3. "Unusual" Symbols
Unusual is in quotation marks because, with us coming from all around the world, of course not everyone will use the same letters, and they are all equally valid. Hell, Slovenian has 3: č, š and ž.
There are also fancier characters, for when someone wants to look cooler by bending Unicode to their will.
Just keep in mind that screen readers are not well-equipped to deal with those sorts of characters. It also depends on the TTS engine and language; for example, English eSpeak reads all Chinese letters as "Chinese letter", which is not ideal.
ὴ =Letter 1 F 7 4
ž =z hatchek, though many other TTS voices read it as just z, or not at all.
𝚊 =Letter 1 6 8 A
And so on.
So, while it is not a must, if you could use less of such characters in your nickname when possible, and CW posts consisting only of those, that would be great, too!
Oh, right! Almost forgot.
If you have any questions, ask them, and I'll do my best.
If you are curious how a particular emoji or symbol is read, send it, and I'll tel you. I can check with eSpeak, which is the default TTS engine for NVDA, as well as Microsoft's voices and a few others.
And also: Thank you. Both for reading this far, and if it makes you change anything. 💙
@Mayana what about wrong spellings, or different like instead of pay my keyboard autocorrected to gay for reasons unknown to me for now
@sidd_harth0_5h4h They are read as they should be read, I think. So not a screen reader issue.
But wait ... nya means yes? But it starts with a n! This is news to me.
OK. 😌 Last "What if?" question. I must admit that when I said people could send them, I did not expect someone to send me 5 ...
Anything else? :P
@Mayana Its mostly because I like nya because its what cats do they nya which is similar to meow, mew or miau.
@sidd_harth0_5h4h For wrong spellings, it depends. Some read as the correct spellings, some slightly differently, some so differently that I have to read by letter to understand what the hell was meant.
As for autocorrect, well, it is as confusing for me as it is for any sighted person. It's not a screen reader thing, after all. Just a Guess What Word Was Replaced thing.
@Mayana With context people do understand the word that was auto corrected like from pay to gay with context is understood that gay here is actually pay. Regarding spelling errors, they happen & I rarely if ever correct those or the auto corrections for that matter.
@Mayana Lazy indeed, & I feel that accessibility is essential but the tech isn't putting accessibility as a default nor does it begin with accessibility. Same goes with most people including me. There's no excuse for making things inaccessible for me atleast.
@Mayana I realize that I do make things inaccessible unnecessarily, I don't have any reason to make them inaccessible. I do it because I feel they convey a different meaning. Like saying rather posting would be more accurate "hewwo" instead of a "hello" has a slightly different meaning for me. I read "hewwo" as more friendly & soft than a "hello".
@Mayana Its different meanings that get conveyed but in the process or rather in the pursuit of those different meanings the thing becomes inaccessible. I do believe that things should be as accessible as possible, when thinking rationally but feelings take over the rational mind most of the time.
@sidd_harth0_5h4h Like I said, hewwo is not less accessible.
To me though, it comes accross as, hmm, more sillier? 🤷♀️ But that's just a personality difference.
@sidd_harth0_5h4h It will achieve the opposite effect from what you're intending. If you have one exclamation mark, most voices inflect in such a way as to make it clear the sentence is an exclamation. But with multiple exclamation marks, they just ... give up, I guess.
But just don't do that in general, please. That level of yelling or questioning is never required. Using more than 3 exclamation marks in a post makes you look immature.
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