Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Speech at Facebook Campus - Facebookで講演

I've been keeping in touch with social media, even though I am a blind with no sense of light. I self-tought how to use PC and smartphone when I lost my eyesight in hospital.

Then, the opportunity arose, delivered a speech regarding to accessibility for services provided by Facebook, such as Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp and others. With some help by friends to send dump files and screen crashes and behaviours when using these apps over time, some folks at facebook caught there are a blind person with no sense of light like me, trying to share photos and documenting my life, the ux team contact me to see if I'm interested in sharing how I use facebook and instagram without seeing at all!

The whole presentation, not limited of 1-hour speech in front of attendees but onover 1-hour in front of camera, I praised Automatic Alternative Text that adds captions for each photos uploaded on Facebook AUTOMATICALLY, which none of providers of the operating system for smartphones haven't got this far, thought they are trying but doing terrible job, this will not only benefit blind people, but the rest of people who can tag search by automatic tagging texting, if Facebook can come up with how to opt-out for those who wants to control privacy and unwanted to auto-scan their data and tagged.

This is the perfect example of so-called "Inclusive Designing" that the feature may work for a small handful mumber of people (the blind, in this case) but it may be beneficial to the rest of us out there! 

I hope my conclusion for my speech made sense that we are not looking for neither "Bareer Free" nor "Universal Design" but what we need is to "Includesiveness" by this society and access to technology. Barrier free might help people with lack of fingers and arms or control of body access but swiping or tapping would not let them get anything done, so we are just talking to solution, not how to make use of it much. Moreover, it's impossible to make anything "Universal" as I wonder how many developers, including many that claims "Tested by blind people" actually blindfolded and use the app? It's nearly mpossible to tap the icon on screen but swipe to find links and objects. I believe only visually impaired who can still see tested but really blind guys with no sense of light is excluded for testing because with assistive technology, finger strokes will totally be replaced and we use up to 4 fingers to do the same tasks normal users can do with one or two fingers.
Facebook is trying to "Include" the people by spreading internet access to the third nations. However, there are so many people in the first nations who can't get benefits from the power of internet due to the accessibility issues. I hope Facebook will keep focusing on making the service not for the majority of people who are productive and influencial, but the same access for the rest of us, no matter what disabilities and challenges we have and we may encounter with!



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