For this week’s blog we look at Instagram‘s new set of features aimed at improving experience for people with visual impairments.
To understand better about these new changes we post a statement directly from the official Instagram Info Center Website from the 28th of November 2018.
We are introducing two new improvements to make it easier for people with visual impairments to use Instagram. With more than 285 million people in the world who have visual impairments, we know there are many people who could benefit from a more accessible Instagram.
First, we’re introducing automatic alternative text so you can hear descriptions of photos through your screen reader when you use Feed, Explore and Profile. This feature uses object recognition technology to generate a description of photos for screen readers so you can hear a list of items that photos may contain as you browse the app.
Next, we’re introducing custom alternative text so you can add a richer description of your photos when you upload a photo. People using screen readers will be able to hear this description.
Thanks to these new features, any user will be able to insert alternative text, which will enable them to hear descriptions of pictures when using Instagram with a screen reader. The automatic alternative text uses object recognition tech to generate a list of things that may appear in the photo, helping people know what they’re looking at.
Instagram also lets you create your own alternative text. When posting a photo, you’ll be able to go into the Advanced Settings and add your own alt text, which can be heard when using a screen reader.
For any other travel advice or guidance, feel free to contact us and to learn more about our active accessible holidays, click here.
Mohammed Salim Patel is a blind young man from Blackburn, who has been blogging as ‘The Blind Journalist’ on blind travel for several years.
Mohammed suffers from a degenerative eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa. His passion and enthusiasm in communication foster him to attend First Class BA Hons International Journalism degree from the University Of Central Lancashire in Preston. His blind condition, strongly influenced Mohammed’s outlook on life and gives him the motivation to succeed regardless of the obstacles which come on his way.
Mohammed has travelled within Seable Holidays in the last trip organized in Sicily: “Seable Disabled Holidays provides the most authentic experience possible that you wouldn’t get through any other travel agency or tour operator.”
He collected different opinion about the journey within his travel mates: “Seable Disabled Holidays are always prepared to tailorlor your holiday to suit you and your needs. All the staff are very friendly and understanding. You do not feel as if you’re disabled because they make sure you are treated as normal and that you get to do what you want. They will fulfil any dietary or religious requirements you have and do everything in their power to make sure you have the best time with no stress.”
Rosie Johnston, 27, a blind lady from Epsom, London said:“I thoroughly enjoyed my holiday in Sicily. It was a fantastic experience. The Seable staff were very helpful, friendly and informative. I will definitely go on a holiday with Seable again and highly recommend them.”
Furthermore, Mohammed was interested in understanding the people and the mission behind the organization, for this reason he interviewed the founder and general manager of the company: “Damiano La Rocca, 29, from Catania, Italy came up with the idea to provide accessible active holidays, to those with physical or sensorial disabilities, because he wanted to fulfil a life-long dream. “
Damiano said: “My Dad is a scuba-diving instructor. He taught me that in life, you have to accept the challenge. It was that sentiment that drove me to set up Seable Disabled Holidays. Seable is an award winning social enterprise organising accessible and active holidays for individuals, couples, families and small groups. We enable people with limited mobility, impaired vision or deafness to easily participate in life-changing experiences through sporting, cultural and gastronomic activities in new and interesting destinations. Our holidays are tailored for each person and we guarantee a stress-free booking process while providing local knowledge that you need in order to enjoy the holiday to the fullest.”
One of Damiano’s visions was to work with various organisations: “We collaborate with local and international charities to guarantee the maximum level of knowledge and experience. Our partners, aim to make a difference in the world by catering exclusively for people with disabilities.“
Although Seable has only been running for a few years, the organisation has achieved a lot. Seable has a portfolio of achievement that includes two Guinness World Records. Both were in deep-sea diving. The first was in 2007 when a Paraplegic man reached 59 metres underwater. The second was in 2009 when a blind girl reached 41 metres underwater.
On this topic, Damiano said: “Our aim is to improve confidence and skills for life, challenging perceptions of disabilities and blindness. Our emphasis is always on high quality, multi-sensory experiences.”
Aside from scuba-diving, 4×4 off road driving, going to the top of Europe’s highest active volcano; Mount Etna, Mediterranean olive oil making and tactile museum visits; Seable have a whole list of activities they offer, all of which are completely accessible and competitively priced.