Confessions of a Blind Guy | How I Use Instagram & Snapchat

A couple of days ago, someone asked me “hey, how do you use Instagram and Snapchat with you being visually impaired?”, so I thought that I would tell you.

Let’s start with how I create posts.

How I create an Instagram post.

This really depends on what I want to post.

If it’s a selfie, then I first open the camera app and switch to the front camera of my iPhone. I then tap on the screen and VoiceOver tells me where my face is on the screen, for example, face in bottom left edge. Once I have repositioned both myself and the camera, and VoiceOver announces, face in centre, I keep swiping until I hear take picture, and then I double tap to take the picture.

If it’s  something that’s in front of me, a coffee cup on a table for example, then I first open the camera app on my iPhone. I then take my iPhone and move it so that the camera lens is about an inch away from the cup. I then slowly move my iPhone backwards until I think that there will be enough space for the cup to be in frame. Then I swipe until I hear take picture, and double tap to take the picture.

Once I have taken my picture, I then open the Instagram app and tap the open camera button in the navigation bar along the bottom. I then double check that Instagram has preselected the picture i’ve just taken, and tap the next button in the top right corner, I then tap next again as this is the place where you pick a filter, and I rarely add any filters to my pictures as I like the picture to do the talking. I then tap on the caption box and add my caption, making sure to add lots of hashtags, change the location to where the picture was taken, and tag any people that are in the picture. I then choose where else I would like to share the post by tapping the buttons next to the services I want, for example Facebook, and tap share.

How I create a Snapchat post.

Snapchat unfortunately doesn’t let you upload from your camera roll, so once I have opened the Snapchat app, and are on the camera screen, I first choose whether I want to use the front or rear camera. Once I have made my choice, I then have to place my lens an inch away from whatever I want to capture, and slowly move it backwards until I think it’s in frame, just like I have to do for an Instagram post, and then I tap the take a snap button.

Once I have taken my picture, the editing screen automatically loads, and I add any text or stickers that I think would go great with the picture I have just taken. I then tap the send to button, and then have the choice of either sending it to one of my contacts, or saving it to my story, and once I have made my choice, I tap the send button.

Now let’s move onto how I view other peoples posts.

How I view other peoples Instagram posts.

There’s actually two ways that I view other peoples Instagram posts. The first is by using either the Instagram app on my iPhone or MacBook along with VoiceOver, and getting VoiceOver to read the captions of the posts out to me. The only downside to this however is that I have to just rely on whatever someone has captioned the post with. The second is to take a screenshot of the post, and upload it into an image recognition app like Tap Tap See, and let voiceover tell me what it thinks the picture is. It can sometimes get things wrong though, but on the whole, it’s usually pretty accurate.

How I view peoples Snapchat posts.

For this, I again use the picture recognition method like I described above, as unfortunately Snapchat doesn’t allow you to add a caption to your posts. It does allow you to add text to a picture though, but because they’re technically classed as part of the picture, VoiceOver wont read them out to me.

That everyone, is pretty much how I use both Instagram and Snapchat.

I know that both services are primarily picture based social media platforms, but with a couple of workarounds, just like a few of the ones that I use, I don’t see why people who are visually impaired can’t use them too.

If you have any other questions about either Instagram or Snapchat, please let me know down below and i’ll be happy to answer them. Also, please don’t forget to follow me on both Instagram and Snapchat to see all of my latest posts.

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Luke x

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  1. This was really interesting. I like when people find a workaround to a problem rather than give up 🙂 I’m sure it will be helpful to others too.

    Tina x Tea Is For Tina

  2. That’s really interesting Luke, it is something I’ve always wondered about. I will go follow your Instagram feed, but I’m afraid I don’t use Snap Chat.
    It’s because of your blog and your insights that I try to remember to add alt.text to all of my photo’s on my blog now. I never used to see the point before.

  3. Pingback: Outfit Of The Day | #StyleIsTimeless with Chums | Luke Sam Sowden

  4. Hello. I have android. I are blind too (but my first language is spanish, sory for my english)…i cant send pictures on snapchat! all butons are in blanc, and the screen reader cant read me it. There are a solution?

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