Abby’s Corner | Inclusion
#DescribeThePic Hashtag Campaign Launch
Hey, guys. It’s me, Abby. I hope you’re all having a fabulous Thursday! I’m so excited to let you know about the #DescribeThePic Hashtag Campaign being launched in recognition of International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD).
The IDPD, held annually on December 3, promotes awareness of disability issues and supports the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. And we here at Bold Blind Beauty are extending an invitation to you to join us for this fabulous hashtag campaign.
Since inclusion is one of the key components of IDPD two beautiful YouTubers came up with a simple yet brilliant idea. Siobhan Meade (Blind Girl Vlogs) and Emily Davison (Fashioneyesta) developed the hastag campaign to make more photos shared online accessible for low vision people.
3.2 billion images are shared across social media platforms every day—let that sink in for a minute. Social media behemoth Facebook continues to be the largest platform of its kind with 2 billion active users. Did you know that on Facebook alone over 300 million photos get uploaded per day?
Blind and low vision people who rely on screen readers to interact with their devices, also depend on photo descriptions to enable them to know what a picture is. Yet every day so many photos are being shared without a description for those who cannot see. The purpose of the #DescribeThePic Hashtag Campaign is to encourage more people to add descriptions to their photos to make social media a more inclusive environment for everyone.
Why Is Image Description Important?
It’s simply the right thing to do. However there are some compelling reasons why image description is important.
90% of the information processed by the brain is visual. When we refer back to the 3.2 billion images shared daily online, the majority of which aren’t accessible, it’s problematic for 2.2 billion people. This staggering number from the World Health Organization (WHO) is the number of people around the world who are affected by blindness and vision impairment.
Like many blind and low vision people, we here at Bold Blind Beauty understand the ramifications of exclusion as we live it day-to-day. Being unable to access critical information on websites, products, medications, instruction manuals, medical forms, applications, warning labels, etc. can literally keep us in the dark.
As parents, students, educators, employees, consumers, and more, finding ways to adapt is constant and necessary for us to sustain our independence. While technology has made life for many of us considerably easier there is still room for improvement. Including people who are blind and low vision in the design process of programs, websites, products, services, and more at the outset helps to assure accessibility. There’s a saying that goes “Nothing about us without us” meaning decisions should not be made for the disability community without our input.
Stopping to consider other people’s lives can be vastly different than ours, helps us to become better people and community members. Imagine for a moment how different the world would look if image descriptions were built into AI (artificial intelligence) from the beginning.
How Can You Help?
- Follow and engage with blind and low vision online creatives. Connecting with and getting to know us helps to bridge the gap between us and leads to greater understanding.
- Make a personal commitment to include descriptions on all your visual content when sharing online.
- Check out this resource for tips on how to make your content more accessible: How to Optimize Your Social Posts for the Visually Impaired
- Use the hashtag #DescribeThePic and feel free to tag Siobhan Meade & Emily Davison too!
The beauty of the disability community can be found in the vastness of its diversity. There are so many brilliantly talented warriors on the frontlines amplifying the voices of people with disabilities and we are honored to be a part of this community. Like the air we breathe to sustain our lives, people with disabilities need AIR (Accessibility, Inclusion, and Representation) to thrive.
We came across this fabulous list of resources posted to Instagram by @Jouljet and she kindly gave us permission to it share with you:
- Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century by Alice Wong
- Say Hello by Carly Findlay
- Able: Gold Medals, Grand Slams and Smashing Glass Ceilings by Dylan Alcott
- Future Girl by Asphyxia
- Nujeen: One Girl’s Incredible Journey from War-Torn Syria in a Wheelchair by Nujeen Mustala with Christian Lamb
- Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
- The Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture, Disability, and Other Reasons to Fall in Love with Me by Keah Brown
- Unseen: The Secret World of Chronic Illness by Jacinta Parsons
- Show Me Where it Hurts: Living with Invisible Illness by Kylie Maslen
- Hearing Maud: A Journey for a Voice by Jessica White
- Hysteria: A memoir of illness, strength and women’s stories throughout history by Katerina Bryant
- Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law by Haben Girma
- The Theory Of Hummingbirds by Michelle Kadarusman
- Peta Lyres Rating Normal by Anna Whateley
- Disfigured On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space by Amanda Leduc
Disclosure: Bold Blind Beauty may receive a small commission for purchases made through links in this post.
Connecting With #DescribeThePic Campaign Creators
- Siobhan Meade creator of Blind Girl Vlogs
- Twitter: @sibbymeade
- YouTube Channel: http://youtube.com/blindgirlvlogs
- Emily Davison creator of Fashioneyesta
- Twitter: @DavisonEm
- YouTube Channel: http://youtube.com/fashioneyesta
Keeping it real, keeping it natural, keeping it lovely one cane tap at a time! ~Abby
- Header: A photo collage in the shape of a heart. All the images are blind and low vision people who’ve been featured on Bold Blind Beauty.
- Heart collage featured guests: