[categories: Accessibility, concepts, Sensory substitution, vOICe]
Those of you who have looked at the vOICe for synthetic vision would know that we need a pair of glasses with a netbook for the best immersive user experience. If you are like me however, you will find that the weekends are probably the only days when you can walk out and about with your glasses and netbook. The rest of the week you are stuck in a boring old office or perhaps you are travelling between customers. The question then arises of how to continue your visual learning? I was recently introduced to photo blogs where people post photographs and write something about them. These blogs especially those that are hosted on WordPress are quite accessible. The advantage of a blog as opposed to a dedicated photo sharing website is that by convention, people do write something about the images they are posting. This way, there is some context to what you’re looking at. In addition, the images that you see are random which is exactly how sight is. You don’t know what you are going to encounter from one moment to the next. Finally, you can always comment on the image and ask the author for clarifications.
My introduction to photo blogging occurred after my trip to Iceland with Traveleyes. Helen Cherry, one of the members of the tour group has started an extremely accessible pair of blogs. She is a prolific photographer and posts at least one image per Day on her photomania blog. The 1500 Saturdays blog is updated weekly. She goes out of her way to make images accessible by adding alternative text tags or at the very least, giving descriptive names to the files that she uploads.
Her blog is hosted on WordPress, so you can use the Internet sonyfication feature of the vOICe to import images directly from her blog and look at them. She is also very willing to answer any questions you may have about the images she posts.
So, get out there and find more photoblogs!!
Sample accessible images