Instagram for People who are Blind

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Tommy Edison, also known as “the Blind Film Critic”, posts movie reviews on hisYouTube channel that are filled with humor and charm. In addition to his movie reviews, Edison has also posted videos that illustrate how he navigates everyday activities as a man who is blind. For instance, the video below demonstrates how he uses Instagram on the iPhone 4S, using the iPhone’s VoiceOver accessibility feature. Some of the comments that viewers have left on Edison’s You Tube channel expression confusion over why a man who is blind would be interested in using Instagram. Edison clearly demonstrates that even though he can’t personally see the images that he posts, they are still a fun way for him to communicate with his sighted friends and followers. It serves as a an important reminder of the benefits of Universal Design and why designers should provide accessibility without making prior assumptions about who will or won’t be interested in using their product. Watch the video after the jump.

Universal Design (UD) is an approach to design that increases the potential for developing a better quality of life for a wide range of individuals. It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012). It creates products, systems, and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.