Facebook Works with the Blind on Accessibility

    April 7, 2009
    Chris Crum

Have you ever tried to imagine what it would be like to use Facebook as a blind person? If not, try to do so. It’s not the easiest thing in the world is it?

Well, Facebook has been working with the American Foundation for the Blind to make it easier. A couple years ago, the AFB approached Facebook about making the social network more accessible to the blind and visually impaired.

Carl Augusto - CEO of AFB"From our very first interaction, Facebook has been responsive to our feedback and committed to finding solutions to these problems," says AFB CEO Carl R. Augusto in a post on the Facebook Blog. "This has underscored the fact that Facebook is a community dedicated to all of its members, including those with disabilities."

Facebook’s work with the AFB is a reminder of the accessibility needs around the web as a whole. Facebook being accessible is very important given it’s size and popularity. It’s going to be an ongoing task for the rest of the web to cater to users with disabilities. Some sites have been motivated by the threat of legal action, but so far that’s a pretty rare case. It shouldn’t come to that anyway.

"While our ultimate goal of making the Internet fully accessible is far from being attained, we are making progress toward reaching that goal by working together with organizations like Facebook," says Augusto.

Facebook has an accessibility help center in place that offers frequently asked questions related to accessibility, and provides tips for users with assistive devices. They also provide a contact form to reach Facebook’s accessibility team with questions/concerns.