For most Twitter users, taking a quick scroll through your timeline you don’t give a second thought to being able to see images (all the memes) scattered among the 270 characters.
But it is not that easy for everyone.
A visually impaired man named Rob Long has asked users of the social media platform to help him, and other blind users, enjoy the same experience simply by changing the accessibility settings on your account.
Long, a veteran who lost his sight in Afghanistan, tweeted an explanation of how to turn on your settings, saying: “It’s really simple and makes a huge difference to our twitter experience allowing us to see your images our way.”
All you need to do is click on your profile icon, go into ‘settings’ and click on ‘accessibility’ at the bottom of the menu.
Within this dropdown there will be an option called ‘image descriptions’, which you just need to ensure is switched on, (it is turned off by default). Then click ‘save changes’ to make sure it is updated.
Once you do this the next time you tweet photos (both on the iOS and Android apps or on a desktop) you will be presented with the option to compose a description of the images so the content is accessible to people who are visually impaired.
The limit for descriptions is 420 characters, according to Twitter’s guidelines.
Long also shared a video of how the resulting image ‘appears’ to him with the audio accompaniment, that reads his tweets, emojis, and images.
Eleanor Southwood, chair of the Royal National Institute of Blind People and regular Twitter user, told HuffPost UK: “Social media is a really powerful way of bringing people together. Adding image descriptions to pictures on Twitter is quick and easy but makes a massive difference to blind and partially sighted people.
“That’s why RNIB is encouraging everyone to activate and use this feature so pictures shared on Twitter are accessible to everyone.”