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Monday, 03 October 2016 21:04

Facebook - Anti Social Media!

Written by  Molly Watt
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Dear Facebook

I am a 22 year old who struggles with accessibility.

I am registered deafblind, however, I was not born deafblind but deaf.  What that means, to you, is that I was brought up a very visual child and like most deaf people I could lipread, observe body language and even converse using my hands and sight.  I was not brought up using Braille, or voiceover and still today I know the most basic Braille, my choice and I still chose to use the tiny amount of vision I still retain.

For your information what I see is like looking through a straw, I'm sure you can try to imagine how challenging that is.

So when I am told and sent links by your "accessibility team" telling me to seek help in your help pages online you will understand that you have not enabled zoom so it is impossible to magnify anything so I can read it so naturally asking me to complete a form really is a thoughtless request and of as much use as a chocolate teapot!

Facebook is one of the most altered and cluttered apps and as yet I am waiting for the alteration that enables people like myself to actually access it the way others can, it just clearly isn't a priority to you.

In real terms what this means is you are knowingly isolating further an already isolated community and not just those with my condition or low vision but the elderly who want to reach out to others, to those confused by the cluttered fashion of Facebook.  I know this isn't new news to you because I have blogged about this before!

It's not asking too much for huge corporates like Facebook to consider the accessibility needs of us all and yet it continues to fall on deaf ears.

The latest in the Facebook Book of "Accessibility Howlers" was delivered to me via twitter, which seems the only way you respond to anybody accept the time I was contacted by your London offices, by email via my charity and asked to give you a free presentation on accessibility - I think on reflection maybe I should have given my time for free to help vulnerable groups but, I too have to make a living!

Facebook decided to withdraw the 'boost post' facility from my Charity Page, a page where I would regularly share information within the deafblind community, the reason why, who knows?  It asks, in the dreaded pop up box, for up to date payment details, had to have that read to me and guess what?  My payment details are all up to date.  Put in alternate payment details, won't accept those, so what is next?  Of course, ask @fbaccess and guess what, you got it, they send a "help" link I cannot access because zoom is not enabled - so what is the answer, just ignore me, so far that is the only answer, nobody has contacted me, told me why I cannot boost any posts, re-enabled the facility so that's it - Facebook cares I'm told, well, really?

Is this really satisfactory accessibility from one of the biggest in social media, it's beginning to feel very much like Anti-social media!

You know, I would far rather work with these companies and help make everything accessible for those in need but Facebook remain unapproachable and inconsiderate.

I'm not asking for for 'super amazing brilliant' I just want fair access, zoom enabled and for somebody to sort out this 'boost post' facility so I can continue with my work raising awareness of Usher Syndrome, deafblindness, accessibility, assistive technology and all the other aspects of my work.

Maybe if I put this on my Christmas list it might get resolved or maybe Christmas will never come!

 

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