Improving Facebook’s usability by blind people

Facebook’s ease of use for the blind people can now be improved by new software developed by researchers at the Department of Programming Languages and Systems of the University of Granada.

“So far, there were only social networks specifically designed for blind people, as Blindworlds (www.blindworlds.com), but social networks were not fitted with screen readers to make them accessible to blind people” Josefa Moina, author of the study that is still in experimental stages, said in a statement.

Mockup of Facebook homepage after including the screen reader software for improved usability (Credit: Canal UGR)

Researchers worked with three groups of people and asked them to perform different tasks using assistive technology (a screen reader). The groups include people without any visual impairment, another group with severe visual impairment and a good level of knowledge of screen readers, and third group with severe visual impairment and less knowledge about the screen readers. The researchers found the tasks not easily performed by the participants and recorded them to make them easy and to improve Facebook’s accessibility.

This study would help to remove the comments of the Spanish national organization of visually impaired people (ONCE) that the most popular social network is not accessible by visually impaired people.