making the unseen heard

Close your eyes for a second. Keep them closed. Now try to use your phone. It may sound like a silly exercise, but it’s a reality for a lot of people.

Though smartphones have enabled many blind people to navigate the world, support from app makers for screen-reading software is often lacking. Even worse; an automatic update can suddenly break the compatibility, making an app not usable. Not the end of the world when it’s Facebook, but an app like Uber suddenly breaking can leave blind people stranded.


The problem: screen-reader compatibility is not a priority for app makers.

The goal: make programmers more aware of how important it is.

The idea: hijack the most sight-oriented social media platform and turn it into a way for the blind to experience the world.

Here’s how it works:

Cover the lens of your camera.
Press record, and describe what you see.
Add hashtags, tag your friends, upload.

The result: Instagram itself turns blind.

So we’ll all listen.

I submitted the idea for an internal Edelman competition. For it, I won a trip to the Cannes Lions Festival.

© Edelman