Posts Tagged ‘technology’

LIKE THIS! Facebook for people with low vision

Posted on: April 7th, 2016 by lowvision

Facebook is making changes in a big way this week for those who suffer from visual impairments. More than 30 million across the globe are blind, and over 30 million in America alone suffer from low vision caused by eye diseases like cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.

An integral part of many social media platforms is imagery – and Facebook is one of the biggest players in that space. Like The Verge says, “It’s difficult to imagine Facebook without photos.” But for the blind and those who suffer from low vision, the Facebook world has been quite different – until now.

This week, Facebook launched a feature called “automatic alternative text” which will automatically describe the content of photos to blind and visually impaired users. According to The Verge, auto alt text will use an iPhone’s voiceover to read descriptions of the photos aloud to users. While still in it’s early stages, it can already identify concepts in categories including transportation, nature, sports, food and people. It’s currently available to iPhone users, but will later be available to Android users and via the web.

Facebook’s team recognized they needed to create a solution to this problem if they wanted everyone to be a part of the community – so with hard work and help from artificial intelligence, that’s what they did.

To read more about the new feature, visit: http://www.theverge.com/2016/4/5/11364914/facebook-automatic-alt-tags-blind-visually-impared

How smartphones and apps are liberating the blind and visually impaired

Posted on: August 18th, 2015 by lowvision

Have you found any great apps or computer programs to help assist you or a loved one with your day to day activities?

The San Jose Mercury News published a great article listing some of the available resources for living–and computing–with low vision.

Ruben Morales, a blind 59-year-old retired engineer who lives in Morgan Hill, has used a specialized screen-reading program for years to write and run spreadsheets on his desktop computer.

But just this month, he figuratively cut the cord to his desktop and joined the mobile revolution. Morales was visiting the Veterans Affairs Department’s Western Blind Rehabilitation Center in Menlo Park learning how to use an iPhone’s features for vision-impaired people.

“It’s pretty amazing.” Morales said, demonstrating how he can call up a song and play it with a few taps. “Whatever I can do on the computer I can basically do it on the iPhone. It has the same capability.”

Click here for the full article