Rose is a Public Relations Specialist volunteer at WeCo. She works to get the word out about who WeCo is, and the types of services and trainings WeCo offers, while maintaining internal communications. Rose explains, “I communicate with clients through emails, keep in touch with staff and Certified Test Consultants or CTCs through social media groups and newsletters, maintain WeCo’s social media presence through Facebook, Twitter and Linked-in, and compose materials such as press releases and blog posts.”
Rose understands the challenges of accessibility because she experiences them each day. She’s been completely blind since age 2. She has learned to utilize Assistive Technology in all aspects of her life. “I use a laptop with Job Access With Speech (JAWS), a BrailleNote Apex for taking notes, Kurzweil for scanning and converting files, a digital recorder, a scanner and printer, and an IPhone with VoiceOver,” states Rose.
Social media networking is one of Rose’s biggest responsibilities as a volunteer that involves her using her mobile device. “Occasionally, a website is not conformed for mobile accessibility and is therefore unreadable,” says Rose. The most frustrating items that she encounters on all social media platforms, but especially on Twitter, “are tables of results, pictures or screenshots of an article with no URL link. There might be a tease for the content, followed by “pic.twitter.com/…”. Pictures of informational text is appealing because it is all in one place, but it is also possible to copy the URL to the remaining information; shorter URLs can be created so that tweets do not exceed their character limit. Providing links instead of pictures allows information to be disseminated to all users, including those with a visual impairment.”
Social media networking plays a vital role in today’s society. As with many things for people who are blind or who have a visual disability, “there are some difficulties and snags such as accessing information on inaccessible mobile sites and pictures with text instead of an URL, tagging organizations and companies on Facebook, etc. but it is definitely possible,” Rose explains. Read more about Rose’s approach to Social Media Management with using Mobile Devices.