Confessions of a Blind Guy | How To Start Using Instagram

With the recent news that Instagram has started to make their App a little bit more accessible by adding Alt Text to the Photos that get uploaded, I thought that I would give you a little bit of a crash course in how to start using Instagram if you’re Blind or Visually Impaired.

A black iPhone, a silver pen, and a notebook next to a laptop on a white rectangular table, on a white background.

A picture of an iPhone, a silver pen, a notebook, and a laptop on a white table.

Firstly, yes Instagram is mainly a Photo based service, so you’re obviously going to find it a little bit difficult to use if you’re Blind or Visually Impaired, but hopefully them adding the ability to add Alt Text to Photos is just the first step in them creating a fully accessible platform that everyone can use.

How to create an account.

Luckily, Instagram has more or less the same layout whether you’re using iOS, Android or Windows Phone, so the following steps can be performed on whatever Device you’re using.

1. Go to your App Store and download Instagram.
2. Once it’s installed, launch the App and swipe until you hear create an account and tap on it. You can then create an account by either logging into Facebook, which if you already have an account is the easiest way to create an account, or you can create an account using your Email Address and Phone Number.  If you decide to create an account by signing into Facebook, all you have to do is swipe until you hear sign up with Facebook, tap on it, and follow the onscreen instructions instead of doing the following couple of steps.
3. Swipe until you hear sign up with Email Address or Phone Number and tap on it. You’ll then be presented with a Sign Up Form where it will ask you to provide your Email Address, your Phone Number, choose a Username and a Password, and ask you to agree to their terms & conditions.
4. Swipe until you hear continue and tap on it, and you’ve created an account.

How to edit your Bio and change your Profile Picture.

1. Tap the Profile button in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.
2. Swipe until you find edit Profile and tap on it.
3. Swipe until you find the Bio text box and enter what you want your Bio to be. This is where you can tell your followers a little bit about yourself. For instance, mine says, I’m a #VisuallyImpaired #MaleBlogger who rambles about what he can’t see all over the internet.
4. Once you’ve written your Bio, tap the done button in the top right hand corner of the screen to save it.
5. Swipe to the right of the Done button until you find Change Profile Picture and tap on it.
6. Along the bottom of the screen you’ll find the Change Profile Picture popup box, where you can tap on Import From Facebook where it will ask you to sign in and change your Profile Picture to whatever it is on Facebook, or you can tap on Take A Photo or Choose From Library.
7. If you tap Take A Picture it will load a Camera Screen where you can take a Photo by pressing the Shutter Button, and if you’ve tapped Choose From Library it will load you’r Camera Library where it will ask you to choose a Photo.
8. Tap on the Picture that you would like to use and tap use as Profile Picture in the top right hand corner of the screen.

How to post a Photo.

You have two different ways of posting a Photo, either by choosing a Photo from your Camera Roll, or by taking a Photo using the inbuilt Camera. But when you do either for the first time, it will ask you to allow access to your Camera Roll and Camera.

How to post by choosing from your Camera Roll.

1. Tap the Open Camera button along the bottom of the screen.
2. It will have automatically selected the Library button that’s along the bottom of the screen for you, so just tap on the Photo that you want to upload and tap next in the top right hand corner of the screen.
3. It will then load the Filters screen where you can edit your Photo. If you want to add a Filter to your Photo, all you have to do is tap on the Filter that you want to add. Then once you’ve finished applying your Filter tap the next button in the top right hand corner of the screen.
4. It will then load the Photo Information screen where you can add your Caption, add a Location, tag anyone that’s in your Photo and tell it to share to Facebook, Twitter and Tumbler.
5. Then once you’ve finished filling out all of the Photo Information, tap Share in the top right hand corner of the screen to  post your Photo.

How to post by using the inbuilt Camera.

1. Tap the Open Camera button along the bottom of the screen.
2. Tap the Photo button along the bottom of the screen and then tap the Shutter button to take your Photo.
3. It will then load the Filters screen where you can edit your Photo. If you want to add a Filter, all you have to do is tap on the Filter that you want to add. Then once you’ve finished applying your Filter tap the Next button in the top right hand corner of the screen.
4. It will then load the Photo Information screen where you can add a Caption, add a Location, tag anyone that’s in your Photo and tell it to share to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.
5. Then once you’ve finished filling out all of the Photo Information, tap the Share button in the top right hand corner of the screen to post your Photo.

How to add Alt Text to your Photos.

Instagram uses two different types of Alt Text. The first is automatic, which uses their inbuilt service to try and identify what it thinks you’ve taken a picture of, and the second is Alt Text that you can write yourself.

1. While you’re posting a Photo, tap on Advanced Settings at the bottom of the Photo Information screen.
2. Swipe until you hear Write Alt Text and tap on it.

3. Swipe until you find the Alt Text Box and type in what you want the Alt Text of your Photo to be.
4. Once you’ve finished adding your Alt Text, tap Done in the top right hand corner of the screen.

A few Photography tips that i’ve picked up along the way.

The main Photography tip that i’ve picked up is.

1. Place your Camera Lens on the centre of whatever it is that you want to take a Photo of.
2. Slowly pull it away until you think you’ve got it in frame.

3. Take your Photo.
4. Use a Photo Recognition App like Tap Tap See to make sure that you’ve taken your Photo properly.

There you go, that’s how to start using Instagram if you’re Blind or Visually Impaired.

Are you Blind or Visually Impaired and use Instagram too? What do you think of them adding Alt Text to the Photos that get uploaded? Do you have any great Photography tips? Please let me know down below.

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Luke x

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