Professional Development with Melb Fringe: Image Descriptions
12:58AM May 13, 2020
Danny Delahunty (he/him)
Carly Findlay (she/her)
A couple more
Might just give it one more minute since there's still people joining
Okay, I can see there are still few people arriving, but we might start because we do a lot to get to today.
So good morning everyone. Welcome to the Melbourne Fringe professional development webinar on image descriptions. My name is Danny Delahunty, I'm the Head of Programs at Melbourne Fringe, I want to start by paying my deep respect to people of the Kulin Nation on whose land I stand today, I proudly pay my respects of many countries where you our webinar participants are tuning in from. I recognize the incredible history embedded in all these lands. I pay my respects to elders past, present and future and acknowledging in particular a rich tradition of cultural discourse and storytelling on these lands particularly for over 60,000 years.
Currently on the screen there is a holding slide with an image descriptions title on it and the name of Carly Findlay and Melbourne Fringe. The zoom set up today
is of the webinar viewing which means that there is no video or list of names showing for participants in the people showing other hosts. At the moment, there are two hosts with their video on the first is me a white man in his mid 30s, with a beard and glasses wearing a grey hat and a gray jumper. Behind me is a plain white wall with two old Melbourne Fringe posters on it.
The second host is Carly Findlay, a woman with a red face short, dark, dark, curly hair, wearing colorful clothes and sitting in front of a neutral white background.
This morning we have the first of several professional development workshops that Melbourne Fringe has opened up to the broader arts community. Today's workshop is about image descriptions, why they're important and how to make them an important part of your social media process. The workshop will be led by award winning writer, blogger, speaker and appearance activist Carly Findlay, who we are also extremely lucky to have working with us as the Access and Inclusion Coordinator at Melbourne Fringe.
The session will also have hosting assistance from the wonderful Ciaran Frame who is the executive assistant at Melbourne Fringe, and he'll be making sure the tech runs smoothly and any questions I received Carly's pronouns are she/her, Ciaran's and my own pronouns are he/him. Before I hand over to Carly, I have a few housekeeping notes for you all. Today's workshop on image descriptions will run for one hour, including this introduction, so we'll schedule to finish at 1030.
Live captioning is available for the session, you can toggle this on or off using the closed captions button at the bottom center of the screen.
The chat function is disabled for this session, but if you require assistance, please use the raise your hand button and Ciaran will be in touch. If you have a question, please submit it at any time using the q&a function. There will be time at the end for any questions to be answered, but you can submit them whenever they come to you.
This session is being recorded. You as a participant are not visible in the recording. But if you want to remain anonymous, please change your name prior to asking a question.
Alright, without any further ado, I'd like to hand over to Carly Findlay to lead the session on image descriptions.
Hello, everyone. Thanks so much, Danny. And thank you, everybody for coming. This is a very big audience. Thank you for getting up so early. as Danny said, This session will be on image descriptions, my audio is playing up on this computer so you might cut out I will be on that as soon as I can. As soon as I see that I'm not being heard.
And so I'm going to talk a little bit on language first. Because that is a question I always get when talking about disability and access. At Melbourne Fringe we say disabled people
Many people in the disability community prefer identity first language so that sees disability as part of our identity and belonging to a cultural group. Another preferred term is people with disability. And this puts the person before the disability. And it acknowledges that disability is caused by societal barriers, you're welcome to use both. We also use deaf people to refer to people who are culturally deaf, that is, people who were born deaf, Deaf with a capital D. or become deaf early in life. And people who call themselves Deaf with a capital D also use Auslan sign language to communicate. We discourage euphemisms like special needs, differently abled, handicapable because these create stigma for disabled people and more information on language can be found at people with disability Australia. You will get this PowerPoints afterwards. So if you miss anything, you can go back after the session. So I will be referring to
Hello. Yes, it means descriptions to describe what's in an image, particularly for people who are blind or have low vision, sorry. And they use screen readers. So screen readers are something a software program that helps read what's on the screen so you can highlight some text and it plays it back to you in audio. Image descriptions don't have to be complex. They should be factual. They should be concise. And if time permits, you can provide a lot of detail that should be done for all social media posts, not just disability, or accessibility related content. So 18% of Australians are disabled. That means that 18% of your audience is disabled.
Why do we use image descriptions? We use image descriptions as well. They're very cheap, and they're very easy. Well, they're a very easy way to create accessibility. They make sorry, they make social media and the wider, more inclusive and accessible so you don't only have to use image descriptions on social media. You can use them on websites as the alt text function, or as a caption. People use screen people who use screen readers or aren't able to process images are able to know what's happening in the photo. So I'm going to go through a few examples of image descriptions shortly so you can see exactly what they are. For now I am reading off this because as Danny did earlier, he described what's what's on the PowerPoint and I will be two.
Image descriptions can be done on Facebook, on Twitter, and Instagram, alt text functions, and I'm going to show you work through those soon. And they can also be done as captions on the post. If you write image descriptions on social media captions, so everyone, everyone can read them screen readers or not, I do that. And that's how I do image descriptions. I don't often put them on the alt text function, other than on Twitter. And that means all of my audiences can read those image descriptions and there is a link here, which you'll be sent in how to do image descriptions in the alt text. social media platforms and I'll go through them in a minute. And, and yes, as I said, they can also be done as alt text on websites and so that when you mouse over an image, it will tell you what is in the photo. And some programs pick up what's in the photo automatically. And do image, do automatic image descriptions, they might say there are two people in the photo. And you can either leave it as that or go in and override that with more detail and I'll show you an example of that, that Facebook provides very soon.
What is in an image description. So good image descriptions can include how many people are in the photo, what people are doing and wearing as you heard before when Danny described us and the expressions on their faces, whether the people are sitting, standing or lying down the background The colors, the colors of the sky, the nature of this nature around how the photo is taken. Is it a selfie? Is it a top down photo? isn't looking at it or horizon? Is it an infographic with images and texts like a meme or a poster? Other things you could include is what the text is like? Is it big, small colored, curvy, straight, bold? Is there a logo? On the image? Is there a border? Is the photo set you daytime or nighttime? Are the subjects facing the camera or not? Where are the elements positioned in the image? And is it an illustration a painting or sculpture or performance all of these things are really important to cover. When when looking at an image and when describing an image.
Now of course you don't have to be so detailed, but it is great to be detailed because it gives a person who is your ? low vision or can't process images, an idea of what's in the image as someone who has vision can see. And I always say don't make the end user work to find the image description. So it's super important to make sure that the image description is either in the main post, but on Instagram, sometimes there is a word limit. And maybe your image description means that you're, you're unable to include that in the caption.
And you can do the alt text function instead. And also, placing an image description in the comments because you are it takes up space in the main posts is to say people that they're an afterthought, and the descriptions take up too much space in our main caption, so it's really best to embed access and make the image description as part of your social media process.
So here is an image description.
This is Last year's Melbourne Fringe logo and Melbourne Fringe branding. And I described this image for all the emails that I sent out Plus, in our large text guide. So as you can see, there are six pillars. I don't know whether you can see my mouse on here, but there are six pillars of straights hole coming from dark gray concrete steps supported by a horizontal lintel beam trades hole is written raised above the lintel maybe that was in a different photo I'm sorry, I should have taken up it out. Because in a different photo title is written. In front of the beams is a person standing side on with the arms and fists raised in the air and that's quite hard to see that it's a person but it is a person with lots of little orange, pink and gray flags. The sky is blue. Next the pillars are the way our fringe logo, we have fringes written in Big capitalized white text. And the text appears to be moving, but it's static. And we are for slopes in a wave shape and inch is straight. So I've included as much detail as possible in that. And it took a little while to get all the elements, right. If you were looking at this through a screen reader, you would not see that the screen reader would not pick up the text. So it's really important to put, you know, to write the text somewhere else in the alt text function or in the main caption, so the screen reader can pick that up. And I hope that people who aren't able to see that can get the feel of what it's like based on that description. So I did include as much detail as possible there.
Another one, this is from my Instagram.
And this is a food photo. And I just listed I will I did a little caption this morning Japanese breakfast and fish wings and rice for Adam starting the day off, right. And my image was a table full of food fish wings and a bowl of rice and miso eggplant tiny greens, soy sauce, sashimi, charred fish, pickled veg, potato salad beans and mushrooms miso soup, 62 degree degree egg and rice, tea, coffee and water on the side. So not only does that tell you I eat a lot, but it also shows you all the types of foods that are on the table. I could have said that there are various shaped plates, I could have said that it's a top down photo as well. And so there's lots of ways of describing that. But I hope that the end user can get what is in that photo.
Image descriptions are part of the social media process, as I said. So it's really important to make images Description writing part of crafting a social media post. And it does take some time doing it. It takes a lot of practice.
And I've been doing them on my own social media and sometimes on the work social media for around three years now, four years, and it has taken me some time to get it right. Sometimes I'm really thorough, and sometimes I might be on the run and not so thorough. But generally, it probably takes an extra five minutes after I've crafted the text of the social media posts to do the image description. So you write your caption, and then you spend some time writing that image description and once you get the hang of it, it means description should only take another few minutes. So I think it's really important to remember that as part of the social media process, access should be a consideration and this is a really easy and cheap way once you get the hang of it. To do that.
Adding alt text on Twitter
So I'm gonna go through how to add edit in the alt text function. And I did these photos of me because I didn't have to ask other people's permission. And I also use some myself on on social media. So if you have the Twitter app on your phone, or if it's on the computer, it's an option to add alt text. So the first thing you do is you start a new tweet. And you put, and you put an image in in the tweet. So then an image in the tweet, little alt, plus an alt, on the bottom right hand side, you click that, and it opens to a screen, and it says, describe this photo. And then there's a link to say what's alt text and then that explains what alt text is, when you open the screen to describe The photo, you type what the alt text is in the photo. And again, I have written a woman with red face and short dark hair covering, I'm sorry, covered with a pink blue and purple wig. She's smiling. She's wearing a mint green cape with animal ears and button at the neck. So that was my alt text. And I would hit the back button and it would go back to the first screen, and the alt text would then be in it. And people who use screen readers could then see what that or know what's in that photo. So that's on Twitter.
And the same process. You can do it on the desktop. I haven't screenshot the desktop one though, I mostly use the Twitter app on my phone.
So that's that, the next one is how to add alt text on Facebook. Now this is a little bit trickier. Actually.
I had to upload photo before before I could add the alt text. So once the photo was loaded, I could click on the three buttons and again, this is on my phone, the three buttons in the top corner and top right corner, which brings up a menu. And the menu has options on it, delete photo, make cover, photo, save photo, copy photos, share, send in messenger, edit, privacy, edit caption, edit, text, and turn off notifications. So I chose it alt text. And when I did that, it came up with a new screen and it had the photo on it and it said be automatically generated alternative text for the photo is in bold. It says image may contain two people including Jeanette Finley, that's my man, people standing so Facebook has already detected what's in that photo. And as I said before, you can go in and add more detail if you want because there is a bit more detail in there after that description, Add alternative text that describes the contents of the photo for people with visual impairments. And you click on that button that says override generated alt text. And I did that on two women of color standing smiling. They're wearing colorful head Rex. Um, and so then you click save, we'll go back to the first photo there and people will be able to read that with this screen reader. And so it is a rather simple process for the alt text as well as if you just include it in the captions. I'm just gonna take a drink.
Right, and the next one is adding alt text on Instagram.
So you upload a photo and then there's some options to Go to Advanced Settings. So I bet settings is at the bottom of your screen. And I think you can only upload photos on the Instagram app anyway. So that is an option to do this on your computer. You then click on Advanced Settings, which brings up branded content. I think that is only for Facebook businesses, though. I mean, sorry, Instagram businesses. And then right down the bottom is accessibility. You can write the alt text, you click on the alt text, correct the alt text in the new screen, as I did before, and then you click Save, and it will go back to the first screen where you can write your caption and then upload. So those are really easy ways of adding the alt text on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. And if you don't want to do that, as I said, you can add them underneath the caption on you can add them underneath the caption on the main Post.
Image descriptions can also be used above image, sorry about above thumbnails and links. So when posting External links on social media a thumbnail often appears. So, a thumbnail is a picture of what's sometimes Sorry, it's a picture in the article that's often posted as a preview. So you can write an image description above this thumbnail
So often, like if, if the news say ABC posts on the Facebook, a link to an ABC News article, it will have the headline It will also have maybe a little sentence or two. It's like the first few lines of the article and it will have a small photo that appears in the article and that will that will go on Facebook or Twitter. And, and you can write an image description above this thumbnail so people also know what's in it. people with disability Australia pwda, are very good at this, and I've got some examples to show you here.
So here's a post from them last month and this was an article from the guardian and they said they quoted the article. As the week's go on it is becoming clear Coronavirus is not an equal opportunity pandemic. More disabled adults said they were very worried about the effects of Coronavirus on their lives, then non disabled adults 45% compared with 30.2%, nearly two thirds of disabled people said Coronavirus related concerns were affecting their well being from loneliness and problems at work to worsening mental health. Read more here. And then there was the hyperlink. And below that was an image description. And the image description says in his description, two people, one of them is using a wheelchair move along up here facing away from the camera. So a really simple image description talking about that thumbnail that He's in the link.
The next one we've got is a picture of some Aboriginal art.
And they posted this last week to get to get to play some small part in this whole process is huge for me and I hope the artwork encourages all Australians with a story to tell about violence, abuse and neglect and exploitation of people disability to come forward. Uncle Paul a Wiradjuri Elder and artist has memorialized the disability rock commission to collecting it as a safe space for storytelling. And they've got a link to it nit.com.au Wiradjuri Elder link and the image description describes what is in the painting. So they say the stumping sorry the stunning artwork by Paul Constable Calcott titled respectful, respectful listening and they didn't Describe the whole artwork, but they did talk them. They did say that it is a stunning artwork. And alternatively, they could have described it as a series of colorful segments, circular patterns and dots. And they could have described the colors and the technique that has been used. But as I said before, they can take you a long time or a short time. Sometimes people are pressed for time. And so I think that this definitely suffices given they always use image descriptions on their thumbnails.
So describing people's appearance can be one. And I often include specifics of people's experience appearances and as Danny asked me what I'd like to be described as before, I describe myself as a woman with the red face and short curly hair, although it's quite long at the moment, so I sometimes say shoulder with curly hair.
Sometimes people have argued with me about this saying that it's offensive, but it's factual I have Ichthyosis, it means that I have a red face, I'm not going to describe myself. Otherwise, sometimes I describe myself as a woman of color or if I'm in a group of other people of color. And I'll describe other people as a white person, as a person with fair skin or a person of color. And I also mentioned mobility devices if relevant, and I understand that not everybody wants that kind of description said about them. So you could ask people about how they want to be described, confirming skin color, size, gender, mobility device, etc. When I have described friends who might be new to access and inclusion or disability, I do ask them and I say I do an image description is it all right. If I describe you what how would you like me describe your skin color and they generally Tell me, and I will describe them in the way they want to. I have been doing a fun thing with a friend of mine Jason. Most days, we do a work from home where photo, and sometimes I post his photo alongside mine and he does really great image descriptions of himself, he'll describe himself as a man with a lustrous ginger beard. And I will copy his image description and put it on my post because there that's human his own words.
So, as I said, this is me a headshot of a woman with a red face short, curly hair, wearing a colorful Jessica jellies printed on smiling an ice cream cheese pin to her dress.
This is the image that we use for the image description workshop. And I did that in his description beforehand. So that is how I would describe myself.
What about text based images.
So this is really important and this does take a little bit more But it can be done quickly with the help of a really great online tool. So screen readers will not pick up on text based images like posters means or screenshots of text. Sometimes I see people posting huge screenshots of texts like press releases or screenshots from news outlets. And this doesn't work. It doesn't work to to be picked up on by a screen reader. So what you need to do is include the text on those images in the image description. So in the alt text or in the caption, for screenshots of text based content, you can copy the text from the source so if it's from a news article, copy that text, and close it within the image description, caption or alt text before you post the screenshot on social media, and you can also use a really great tool called online OCR so online optical character recognition
You can visit online OCR dotnet and upload the screenshot into the website and it will process the text to be edited, copied and pasted into a social media caption. It's really important though to check that you have it that you have a spelling right because sometimes it picks up characters as different characters. So I have seen it picked up L, the letter L as a number one. And so it's really important that you edit that if they are incorrect, so read over it and it is edit before you upload your photo. So that is a really quick way of doing it. But I think if you don't Sorry, it's a quick way of doing it. If you don't already have the have the text source, you can upload a lot of photos at one time in there and do that. So I highly recommend online OCR dotnet and here is an example Did this a couple of weeks ago when daylight saving sorry, when daylight saving changed.
This is a meme that I saw online. I think that's from Hit FM.
And it was around daylight saving. And it says, Because tonight is the night when two becomes one, two o'clock and one o'clock, and at the bottom, it's got the Spice Girls. And so I said on my Instagram, daylight saving ends overnight, don't forget to change your clocks or align your computers or phones to and I wrote an image and this is a little bit hard because I had to describe a range of things. Image the text Because tonight is the night when two becomes one. And then I said the two and the one represented by analog clocks at two o'clock and one o'clock. Underneath the text is a group of five women standing in a city street at night, dressed in 90s clouds sporty, scary baby Jinja and posh forever. And then I said it at the bottom, dare you not to have this stuck in your head all week. And I probably could have added that there was an exclamation mark logo in the bottom right corner for FM. But I didn't. I think at the bottom of that post, I also included the lyrics and the source of the of the main as well. So that is an example of making sure that you spell out that in the in a text based image.
So I didn't run that through the online OCR because there wasn't much text. But if maybe there was a lot, I would have done that. The next thing I would like to talk about is describing art.
This can be really hard, because art is subjective. I went to the Adelaide, South Australia Art Gallery back in February where we could still travel and I saw some really beautiful art and I actually took the time when I was on the plane ride back to Do these because you gave me some more time to really look at the photos and put them put the words together. So this is a pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama, at Adelaide, and I said that the image was a bronze and black sculpture that depicts a pumpkin is detailed with different textures and black dots and frame paintings hung in the background. And someone else might have seen that differently and might have described that differently. So always when you do art, take the time if your pet time to look and if you're not sure. Ask someone else. maybe ask your colleague
What do you see when you see this artwork? And then the other art? Oh, sorry. The other artwork that I saw while I was in Adelaide was the psuedo gospel choir at Adelaide fringe and I talked about how amazing it was and I wish my mum could have been there.
My mum is from South Africa. Then, I had uploaded six images to my Instagram, I've only included one here. But the six images were very similar. And I said is a series of photos and videos of a choir on stage singing and dancing bear wearing bright clothes. And I added the disclaimer that the ticket was given me given to me because of work, because I was there to speak French word Congress. So when you have multiple images, you can either describe all of them individually in the alt text, or you can describe them in the caption, and then you can number them. So this one would be one and then you could say, a group of people in colorful clothes singing on stage number two, might have been a group of people in colorful clothes dancing on stage and that might have been a video so you could state that and so on. So you can describe multiple images and I've been doing some of them in the comments, which I probably shouldn't do. And I did have someone last week actually, I put up a lot of images probably maybe six at one time. And someone messaged me on Instagram to tell me that it is easier for them to read the image descriptions if I describe them in the alt text rather than the comments.
And the next bit is about using humor in image descriptions. And Paul Wilson is a comedian who's a comedian. She does really great funny image descriptions, and I messaged her yesterday to ask if I could use this one.
So this is of her cats sitting on her coffee, coffeemaker and she said, Wait a minute, that's not my usual barista. And she said, describe the image. Bonnie called the cat sitting up tall on the coffee machine that pirate the cat usually occupies. This is unprecedented. barnacle is a coffee cat as a hashtag coffee cat. So how uses humor is just questions and I really liked this because I guess it shows her brand. And it shows that she's a comedian. And she sees humor in everyday things. And I sometimes do humor in English description. So mostly, I am factual. Um, and I think that's a really great way of introducing your, your brand to accessibility, particularly for someone like like for an organization like French or if you're a comedian. It's a really fun way to introduce image descriptions. But if you do use humor, I must say, some disabled people might understand something very literally, I know that some autistic people do. And so you might have to provide a secondary explanation about what that human means.
We're coming up to 1015 very soon. So I'll take some questions after and we've also got a little activity that you can do so I haven't got too more, too many more slides until It's question time and activity time. bonus tips. So bonus tips not so much about Amy's descriptions, but around social media and accessibility are capitalized the first letter of each word when using hashtags.
This allows screen readers to pick up each word or else the screen reader will just read out the whole word as it's written, so not understanding the nuances between the two words. So for example, hashtag Melbourne Fringe, the M and f are capitalized to show that they're two different words and hashtag independent artists, I and a capitalized to show two different words and work from home. The w, f and h are capitalized. And the other thing is that it's important to caption your videos as well. I magic is a really great app for using it on Instagram stories, you can record a, a video with your phone held up to like this, like in the selfie mode. And it does a pretty accurate reading of what you're saying. And you can go and edit that. And then upload those stories and video editing programs like iMovie work as well. So those aren't so much for people who are blind or low vision those are for people who are deaf and hard of hearing, and also who can't process audio as well. So captioning videos is really easy to do. And also if you're doing them on YouTube, YouTube has an automatic caption function as well. And there are some more tips on image descriptions at having University Perkins learning and I have written a blog as well because I get so many questions about people from people who asked me if they're new to my social media. wired to them. So I just directed to that.
Now I want you to have a go.
Maybe we can put that in the q&a section, we can put maybe your results in the q&a section. Is that right? Can we do that? And I'm not, I'm not sure. But I will leave these up for a minute or so. And if you've got some paper beside you, or your phone, you can have a go at those. Yep. Ciaran says that you can write your image descriptions in the Q+A.
Sorry, in the q&a section when you're done, I'm going to give you a few a couple of minutes Now to do that.
So remember to put the text and the image detail and also the border detail, what colors are used, what the lighting is like, what the expressions and people's faces alike. And I think in the q&a, we've got a question about the logos. So we'll talk about that very soon.
Does anyone want to put their image description in the q&a? So we can see
Great, I see we have one image description done. I'm gonna read that out. And it's from Whitney posted advertising the Melbourne Oh, sorry. It's just gone up. Post advertising the Melbourne Fringe festival the background images of a person, woman dressed in shiny. So a woman's with the question mark dressed in shiny clothes with a horn shaped headdress. This image is opaque. The overlay text says Melbourne Fringe festival new dates 12 to 29th to November 2020. The text is in all caps. In the left corner is the Melbourne Fringe festival logo that is fantastic well done. And the next one we've got through is image black square background thin white line border there are two excited girls with their mouth open looking to a blue box small white center text rates micro grants and bursaries and capital letters plain blue text below raise money for art. There is a Melbourne Fringe logo in the top left corner and silver screamers in the background. Well done everyone.
Thank you so much for sending those through. He did really well for your first guy. I know there was a lot of elements in there as well. So I really appreciate you doing that. We have had some QA questions come through, which is great. I am going to put the last slide up Hang on one second. For more access Melbourne Fringe, you can visit the producers guide to access which is a link. You'll receive this again as I said, and or you can email me carly@Melbournefringe.com.au. I'm gonna answer some of the questions now. So I'm going into the q&a section and I'm going to read them out.
Okay, so the first one I've received is from one Me. Hi, Carly, I use a lot of infographics or abstract logos in my work. How do I describe a logo when it's a bunch of shapes that make up a picture, I have often use a logo with triangles in light to medium to and up to, but I don't think that's enough. And I think I think that's really great, great start, but you're writing light to medium teal and dark teal, I think that is that the colors are enough there that you've described. And I remember when I first started describing the Melbourne Fringe logo, I don't actually have that in front of me. My description that I used, I have the logo in front of me. And I would really look at that and look at the way that the letters and the words were spaced and where the logo was and what the colors were. I think what you can do is talk about the different shapes in the picture, you could say but it's an abstract x sorry and abstracts looking logo. You could say that there are a lot of different shapes and things Different colors in the picture, you can describe the colors, you can say that the colors very light to medium teal and dark too, if you want to.
And last year when I was doing our large print festival guide, I described nearly every logo in it. And it was quite a lesson in observation and concentration. So you had to do your best to describe them. And one of the things that you could do is have a document where if you are using these logos, a lot, a name to describe them a lot. You could have a document where you just copy and paste them in there. And then the next time you need to refer to them. You can copy and paste out and so you don't have to keep rewriting that. I hope that answers your question. Whitney.
The next question is from Frances. Sorry. I'm interested to know more about professional image description. We are doing the best We can in these webinars, sections, sessions audio describing ourselves in PowerPoint slides, but acknowledge we pay for services like online and captioning. What are your thoughts here?
So, yes, there is professional service of audio description. Boom across the from description Victoria runs this. And Will's team runs a lot of different programs and I think is especially pivotal since COVID-19 has happened to do online audio descriptions. So audio descriptions are very, very similar to image descriptions where they show what is happening in a theater performance or on TV or you know, on a base and it is in addition to auslin, it's in addition to the audio that's being said at the time, and you is often either a text or a text based thing where people can highlight the information and hear it. So that kind of screen reader environment or it might be where they put on headphones. And they can listen through an app where someone is describing that. So you can you can get audio description done by your contact room across the app description. Victoria, I believe it's description victoria.com.au there is some more information on audio describing in our producers guide to access there. So I'm sure that you could book will but again, acknowledging that it is a very expensive service as offline and captions as well.
The next question is from Katherine. And Hi Carly with regards to using Instagram stories, are they accessible? And if not, how can we make them so that is a great question. So Instagram stories, as I said, you can do You can do captioning on your video. And you can, what you do through clip ematic is record your video, and their captions will come up, and you can edit those captions. And then you can upload that. And a few people that I know that I follow on Instagram, often talk in Instagram, and then do a little summary text of what they've said in each story. So there's that option as well. And they do not believe that it can be read by screen readers. So he is hard to talk to state what's happening in the photo other than verbally saying what's happening in the photo. So perhaps you can do a voiceover recording but then you have to ensure that you've got as well. So it is tricky and so I think the main feed on Instagram is far more accessible than instagram stories.
Whitney has another question. Do I think describing people's skin colors is important? I've done it a few times and it starts to slide into colorism territory. So, I'd love to know how to balance it all. That is a very good question too. I think that again, as I said, if you are describing people, you should ask them perhaps how they want to be described, and maybe not presume skin color or, or race or gender. So, you know, right a person rather than male or female. Unless they explicitly tell you or it's very known and public. The other thing that you could do is describe them as a person of color. Or, yeah, again, ask them you know, if I am describing someone that I know like my mom, obviously I will describe her as a woman of color. But you're right. I You can, it can slide into colorism and the other thing that could happen is that the idea where people say I don't see color, but it's very important to see race and color and I didn't as identity because otherwise we erase that. So I think the best thing would be is if taking photos and using them on your social media, you ask those people have this you would like, like to be described before you do that and perhaps work out image descriptions with them before posting. I would say that it would be best not to overlook the color though, as I said, that idea of not seeing color and not seeing race can be quite offensive as disability. You know, when people say I don't see your disability or I don't see your redness that is also offensive. So that can get very, very tricky. So yeah, best thing to ask the people if you can, and even if you have a concern form or something, you could state that you will be doing image descriptions on your social media and ask maybe a question. You have a question in there to ask them how they like to be described. Give them a little bit more time to answer that.
Question from Nat. Hi, Carly. I work in audio radio and radio and podcasting. Can you recommend any particular resources for accessibility in this medium. So radio and podcasting is an audio medium, it's very important to transcribe your your recordings. So what you can do is there's a really great tool and it's quite cheap, called otter AI, and it recognizes people's voices when you upload the file and then you go back and edit as needed. As I say with the online OCR, OCR tool, it's not very it's not always accurate, but it is quite accurate. You go into those and you upload the transcript to the website. If you wanted to do a video recording, you can caption that and also include the transcript because I know that people who are blind or have low vision can have electronic Braille readers where you can pick up the whole transcript. So definitely do you know your show notes and your transcriptions. I saw your transcripts as well. And auto AI, there's programs like rev, or get, you know, a person who specializes in transcribing to transcribe and that does cost money. But I would say that, since I've been using otter AI, it's very cheap. I think it's like $8 a month for 600 minutes, which is quite a lot. And it's also quite accurate, but it does take some time. And Kieran I see has put a link to auto AI in there, otter.ai and otter Also does can link with zoom, which is really good. And it can track live caption and transcribe recordings, conferences and recordings.
The next question I have is from Isabel, if you're including alt text or image descriptions and captions, do you still need to describe the image in the file name? Well, yes, the file name helps you know what the image is. So you could definitely describe that image. But the alt text or image description is more detail than what you'd put in the file name. I don't know whether the screen reader will read the file name. I'm sorry, I don't I don't know that one. Um,
So another question about logos. I think that so Jolie asked how logos are very interested in how logos are described, especially on documents as opposed to social media. I'm doing a course at the moment and logo descriptions seem to be much more functional than descriptive. Sticking to describing just the text rather than the shape. I think that that people choose to put as much detail or as little detail in image descriptions they want to so perhaps you could suggest that it does help to describe
Hello, can you hear me okay? Yeah.
Hold on. Yep. Okay, great. Sorry. Yeah, I think perhaps you can make a suggestion it is important to describe the what what in the world Go as well as the text. As I just as I said before, I think it's just as important in Word documents and PDFs as it is on social media, especially when a lot of people are working to Word documents and PDFs as well. Oh, the other thing is on PDFs, if the image is embedded for if the text is embedded as an image that can't be picked up as soon as on the screen reader, so it's very important that text can be highlighted to be played back by as a voice as a text or voice option.
I think I've got enough time to maybe two more questions. How do I there was one from Matthew, how do I describe how much to put in a given description? What's the recommended length? How do I decide what's in the image is useful? irrelevant? I went through some suggestions earlier, Matthew, about what I what you should put in the description. So things like what are the people doing what do they look like? What's the lighting like, you can make it as long or as short as possible as you want to. Sometimes my image descriptions are longer than the caption that I make, particularly, but I have much to say in the caption. So make it as detailed as as you would like to to be described, like if you were the end user, what would you want to see in this photo?
Okay, so, the Frances said, I am interested to know about not making presumptions when image captioning is going on, man, how do you go about this when you don't have access to the person to ask their preferences? You could say a person and you could describe like it could be a person with with long hair person with short hair. You don't have to state the gender if you don't know them. But if you do, and if you have access to you can ask them how they would like to be described. Oh, sorry.
Another question about text based images. Do you have advice for doing Dealing with images whose text won't fit in the character limit. So yes on Instagram if the text won't fit in the character limit, and also, Twitter alt text doesn't have sorry Twitter alt text has a character limit as well. And you could use the & like the ampersand instead of the end. Some abbreviations if you can. We carry the you could carry it over to the comments if if absolutely needed.
Someone else said Tara or Tara Moss Hi, Tara. Tara said thank you very much. Is there a way to do outtakes on Twitter via desktop I think that there is a way I actually don't use Twitter much via. Just talk but I will check that out and get back.
I think that that I think that's all I have time for. Does Danny want to say any more before we go? Because it is 1030 at the moment
No, I cannot start my video. It looks like Oh, the host has asked to start your video. There we go. I
No I just want to say thank you so much Carly, for that amazing workshop professional development on image descriptions. And thank you to all the participants who joined in today we had over 50 people, which is an amazing turnout for a Wednesday morning, chat about best practice accessibility really excites me to say that our community is... So thank you, Carly. Thank you everyone else and we will be having more of these professional development seminars happening in the coming weeks. Please stay in touch.
See you soon!