Alternative Text

You take out your phone from your pocket.

You look for a recognizable spot.

You investigate for a desirable body angle.

You flip your hair, inhale deeply, close your eyes, blow slowly through your mouth and open your eyes.

You tap the shutter button several times.

You browse the photos you have just taken.

You select which photo shows your best.

You post this photo in Facebook or Twitter.


I take my phone from my pocket.

I double-tap the Facebook or Twitter App.

I slide my thumb on your post.

I scratch my forehead.


It is no denying that Photos have been at the center of some of the precious moments in any social media experience. But for a blind person like me who use such applications regularly, this was the usual  scenario. Thankfully, Facebook and Twitter continue to finding the way in making images shared using the said platforms are accessible to everyone including the visually impaired community .


In Twitter

Started on early March this year, people using Twitter app on iOS and Android  can add descriptions — also known as alternative text (alt text) — to images in Tweets. With this update, everyone are empowered to ensure content shared on Twitter is accessible to the widest possible audience.


To enable the Alt Text in iOS and Android just follow the instructions in the link below: 


Or listen to Mike Hanson’s podcast file on  AppleVis for iOS users:



In Facebook

Automatic alternative text, or automatic alt text, is a new feature that generates a description of a photo through object recognition technology for someone who cannot see the photo.  Now, if they’re using a screen reader (Voice Over) on iOS, they’ll hear a richer description of the photo.


For example,

For a group photo on the beach, a person using a screen reader on iOS would now hear, “This image may contain: Three people, smiling, outdoors.”


Or go to the link below to watch:

Facebook Accessibility Automatic Alt Text Info Video


Initially rolled out in English (US, Canada and Australia) in April, Automatic Alt Text is now available for iOS users in the Philippines.

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