Trying to find the right words: About image descriptions
Something kind of bugs me about image descriptions.
I certainly think it’s bad to make what are essentially text posts as images without also putting in the text in an accessible format. And I also think that if a graphic is illustrating some text, it’s necessary to say what it’s a picture of.
I’ve seen image descriptions done really well. I was in a blind-accessible art show. And their descriptions of even very abstract complicated paintings was amazing. So it can be done right.
My problem is I’m not just not a professional. My ability to turn pictures into words is far worse than average most of the time. For a long time I wouldn’t post a picture if I couldn’t describe it. And when I could, I would push myself to the point of physical pain in order to get it as good as I could.
But now I don’t do image descriptions unless I’m really and truly able to, and only push myself that hard when it’s more important than usual. And I think that’s okay given my limitations. I’m not obligated to incapacitate myself over something like this.
In this case it’s a conflicting access issue. Someone else can’t see the pictures. I can’t always describe them. Ideally there would be people in any given community who were good at things like this and could pick up the slack. Like in some autistic mailing lists I’ve been on, where some people had trouble using standard English, and others would help them translate their words for the sake of people who could only understand more or less standard English. Unfortunately attempts to do something like that for image descriptions on tumblr didn’t pan out.