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Blind & Visually Impaired People 'See' Images on Facebook with a New Tool

A new software is being developed to help blind people make the most of social media. As it stands, there is the possibility to have text read out but it is true that a large percentage of news feeds on Facebook are filled with visual content, meaning that the person could hear what the post says but not actually have an idea of the picture itself.

Facebook's first blind engineer Matt King was the one to remind us all how much visual content actually appears on the network. This would mean that out of the 1.5 billion users, those who do not have the ability to see really are missing out on a huge chunk of Facebook. Of course, for now at least, the software seems to be quite basic using words such as 'three people outside smiling' to describe a family picture maybe. Nonetheless, this will give the user a better idea and feel of the image appearing. Even if for the time being it is as simple as that, Facebook are convinced that it will bring those users a lot more understanding of the visuals. King has said that for him it doesn't matter if it isn't at its best, but it is 'like going from 0% to at least 50% of what you might get'. He is excited at the prospect of being able to 'see' a picture, or at least understand where it is set and how many people are involved. 

Jeff Wieland is at the head of the accessibility team and it is their job to make Facebook as appealing to everyone as can be. They assure that users with any type of disability can benefit from its full use, hence the decision to describe pictures to the blind. This tool will mean that they will be able to understand what a full discussion is about and vaguely have an idea of what the image depicts. It is still a work in progress but it is certainly well on its way to being a success. The blind and visually impaired will finally be able to picture the visuals better than just getting the caption read to them. This concept will hopefully launch soon. King said "it's a way of giving dignity to every person with a disability in the world by helping them get connected to everyone else." He is so pleased by Facebook's constant effort to make the social network accessible to each and every one of us, allowing all of us to stay connected.

They are hoping to release the tool by the end of the year, just on either the web or the app for now to see how well it works. From there, they will most likely develop it more after having assessed its success but also its weaker points allowing them to make it even stronger. This is certainly good news for blind users, but also for Facebook as another development like this might just attract a few more loyal customers.

One of the newest members of The SMF Group. Although she loves a good city life, she grew up in the beautiful French countryside. Who knew that talking to a bunch of cows and friendly chickens would get her here? Quite used to writing stories in her bedroom, she is now deciding if she's cut out for content writing. We'll see! Follow her @SophieAtSMF

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Blind & Visually Impaired People 'See' Images on Facebook with a New Tool Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 Rating: 5

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