The internet and social media don’t do a great job making the very visual world of meme culture accessible to blind users. The new podcast describes those memes so everyone can enjoy them. Plus: Madagascar is home to the “nano-chameleon,” believed to be the smallest lizard in the world.
I love stories about improvements in accessibility, where people are making the world around us more inclusive.
I was just reading an article in Fast Company about a podcast that is doing just that: it’s making the internet more accessible to blind people by describing memes.
That sure got the attention of Grumpy Cat (above).
The show is called “Say My Meme”, and it’s hosted by two people who work on accessibility in their day jobs.
One of the hosts, Will Butler, is legally blind, and he says he’s missed out on most of the highly visual world of meme culture as a result.
That’s a big problem, because meme culture is a big part of online communication.
Scroll through a social media feed for two minutes and you’re very likely to find someone using a meme to make a point, a joke, a reference or a comparison.
Many social media posts don’t include the alt text, the descriptive language that blind internet users would read through their browsers in place of the image.
And even when it is there, it doesn’t always explain the meaning of the image it’s describing.
That’s where Say My Meme comes in.
Cohost Caroline Desrosiers describes the memes to Butler so he and listeners won’t miss out.
The first episode starts with – what else – cat memes.
Not only are the descriptions fantastic, Butler’s enthusiasm for the memes is contagious, even for those of us who’ve been knee-deep in memes for a long time.
Plus, since there are so many memes, this show is basically never going to run out of stuff to talk about.
Here’s something that’s probably good for a meme or two… after this.
Mike in Illinois pointed us toward a discovery in Madagascar of what’s believed to be the smallest reptile ever found.
Its body is just 13.5 millimeters long, 22 millimeters if you include the tail, and it’s been nicknamed the nano-chameleon.