“LolForBlind” campaign allows visually impaired to see funny side of memes

lolforblind campaign by wearesocial 2

Creative agency We Are Social France has devised “Lolforblind”, the first twitter campaign to make humour accessible to people with visual impairments.

The awareness-raising initiative was created for the Valentin Haüy Association, which supports the visually impaired in France.

On the internet, blind or visually impaired people still don’t have full access to humour. More precisely, humour that cannot be read, but can be seen, which means that most memes, are beyond their reach. 

“LolForBlind”

To mark World Disability Day on 3 December, the Valentin Haüy Association and creative agency We Are Social France came up with the “LolForBlind” initiative, to enable those who are unable to see funny content on Twitter to hear it.

When using social networks and when on the internet in general, blind or visually impaired people can launch an audio description of online content with the help of a screen reader. But often this automatic voice translation is incomprehensible.

Audio readings of memes, for example, usually consist of a series of words, describing in a disjointed and often very literal way the whole composition of the post, listing the date, time, hashtags, the number of comments and likes, and a confusing description of the emojis, without any information on the image itself. 

Naturally, the joke falls flat for those who cannot see it.

On the other hand, on Twitter, anyone can add text underneath published images. And that’s where everything can change.

We Are Social came up with the idea of mobilising comedians including Guillermo Guiz, Urbain, Verino, Lilia Benchabane, Mamouz, Pierre Thevenoux and other influencers who are active on Twitter to post content that made them laugh, adding an alternative text underneath the meme with their own words and tones. 

The audio description will then pick up on this text, making their humour truly accessible to all the people who like and follow them.

These posts were uploaded throughout the day via the Twitter account of the Valentin Haüy Association, which helps blind and visually impaired people to lead as normal a life as possible, by giving them the means to acquire more autonomy and access to digital technology.