A Letter To Web And Software Developers

A Letter To Web And Software Developers,

To whom it may concern,

My name is Darragh Ryan and I am a totally blind individual that relies on accessibility features like screen reader software to navigate and enjoy the internet. I personally use Apple Voice Over which provides spoken feedback to elements on screen.

I lost my sight in 2003 and so I’ve had the benefit of visually absorbing the evolution of computer technology and the web so I understand, for the most part, the concepts of web design and I have even designed several web sites myself including my own.

I am writing this letter on behalf of the screen reader user community in hopes to bring attention to the importance of accessibility to all websites.

Unless one experiences something like blindness or knows someone that is blind, then one won’t have blindness on ones mind so this is where the blind communities advocacy comes in to play. It is up to us to express our needs as far as accessibility goes in order for web developers to take into consideration accessibility features when designing websites and honestly it is not that difficult to incorporate accessibility.

There are many resources and general guidelines available to any web designer to utilize when creating a website which will be linked at the bottom of this letter.

My primary focus for this letter is video streaming platforms e.g., YouTube, DLive, JoshWhoTV, Mixer, StreamlabsOBS, OBS, etc.
Blind content creators are very limited in our options to share our content let alone create it and so it is my goal to help bring awareness to those web developers designing these types of platforms.

We in the blind video creation community know it may sound odd for blind people to create videos, but I assure you we really love being able to express our creativity through the visual arts just like any other content creators and so it is through this that I am asking web developers to please consider accessibility by either reviewing the resource links below or contacting blind web developers, game designers, programmers, or accessibility technology instructors and I can tell you there are thousands of us willing to help.

I am writing this letter also to gather the number of people together to provide you the developer with one place that you can see there is a demand for accessibility with your product that you offer to the public and we would like to be able to use your product as well.

A very good example of web based streaming that is accessible is Streamyard and a great example of video editing software is Final Cut Pro X.

Platforms that I personally would like to see accessible are the following:

StreamlabsOBS

Open Source Broadcasting (OBS)

Dlive.tv

and I implore other blind users to include their preferred desires to build a picture of just how limited accessibility features are generally speaking.

Many of us that use screen readers only rely on sound and spoken feedback however, there is a large community that is visually impaired and rely on many forms of zoom magnification which I personally cannot speak on but I encourage those who are visually impaired to leave comments below so that developers can see all our accessibility needs.

Please share this article with your friends and family, social networks, web developers and designers, software programmers, and anyone you would like to see there product accessible.

Resources:

Web Accessibility Initiative

Latest Web Accessibility Technology

Apple Voice Over screen reader

JAWS For Windows screen reader

#HelpMakeWebAccessible

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