To Facebook or Not To Facebook: A Question That Faces the Blind, Visually Impaired and Sighted Alike
I know there are a lot of people, (be they blind, visually impaired or sighted) who are staying away from using Facebook for one reason or another.
I have to admit that I held out until about 2 and a half years ago. I was going to take part in a volunteer project for the blind and visually impaired in Mexico with people I had never actually met. Friends and family members were a little worried and thought I might be taking an unnecessary chance. I want to start by saying I could not have enjoyed the experience more. I played a very small part in building, and furnishing a center for the blind including an apartment and technology center.
Anyway, back to the point of this writing, I needed a quick and simple way to contact everyone and let them know I was doing well and keep them posted on the project. I decided to bite the bullet and join Facebook.
Blindness or Low Vision is not a barrier to using Facebook
The first thing to know about Facebook is that blindness or having low vision does not need to be a barrier. I use the mobile version of Facebook.
This version of Facebook is much more straight forward and easy to use. This is especially true if you are using a screen reader or screen enlargement software. It is less cluttered and probably easier for most people. It might have some limitations, but I have not missed them. I do most of my Facebook activity such as posting and messaging on my computer. I do use M.Facebook on my phone when I just want to see what is going on.
Benefits and tips to using Facebook
If you have grandchildren, this is the best way to keep track of what they are doing. I comment or just Like one of their posts occasionally so they remember I am out there and don’t think I am spying on them.
I don’t usually post and say I am away somewhere. I post when I return and mention what I had been doing.
I don’t accept every friend request. In fact you can keep your friend list very small if you like. There are also ways to limit who sees your posts. I think it is easier just to limit your friends.
If you are with a Facebook junky and they post a picture you would like your friends to receive, just ask them to tag you when they post the picture and your friends will also see the post.
It is fun to take advantage of this tool to keep up with what your friends and family are doing. Why not give it a try?
By the way, if you are on Facebook, why not like our New England Low Vision and Blindness page. We would love to share our great news, insights and tips on blindness, low vision and visual impairment with you.