Talk:WikiBlind User Group

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Hi everyone!

I'm hoping to get folks interested in looking at ways in which we can improve accessibility for all visitors to Wikimedia projects, especially the various language versions of Wikipedia.

The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.
— Wikimedia Foundation Mission

I take "effectively" to explicitly mean that editors should be doing their best to ensure that content is available to any consumer of that content, regardless of any impairment they may have. This must particularly apply to attempting to reduce or eliminate any disadvantage for any visitor who has a visual impairment.

I'm quite proud of the steps we've taken on the English Wikipedia to address these issues with the en:Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Accessibility guidance for editors, although I recognise how much further we still need to go. Not everybody will want or need such a large piece of content, but I hope I can help anyone who thinks it would be useful to adapt any part of it for use on their local project. I'm also happy to talk about my experiences on enwiki and some of the issues that are likely to arise. --RexxS (talk) 18:35, 1 May 2019 (UTC)

  • Welcome Rexx and thank you for launching this Talk page! I love the quote and your interpretation. I want to riff on that. One of the design concepts within wikiBlind is that we can strive to make it possible for everyone to not only access content but also be able to contribute to the improvements, going from being consumers of knowledge to being participants in the open knowledge movement. Contributing to the collective bodies of human knowledge can be really satisfying and worth the struggle, right? I believe all our designs become a lot more accessible when we include people on the design and test teams who have the lived experience of being blind or differently abled in any of the many ways out here. Diversity on design teams can make such a difference.
  • One of the aspects I like most about how this group is already diverse, international and growing quickly is that we already have enormous talent available within who can already help identify and solve barriers to access and inclusivity. Feel free to reach out to any of us to learn more! DrMel (talk) 01:37, 2 May 2019 (UTC)

Accessibility and Usability links[edit]

Briefly: See mw:Accessibility and usability cleanup

Context: I wanted to point everyone to that linkhub page, where I think we've collated almost all (?!?) of the related existing links. Much help is going to be needed to resolve the existing mess, and to make sure the mess doesn't get much worse. But there's gold in those links! Hopefully knowing about the linkhub can help us prevent wheel-reinvention.

(This is a partial copy of what I wrote at wmania:2019:A11y).

Thanks! Quiddity (talk) 19:32, 1 May 2019 (UTC)


The project page here mentions Facebook, which is a site that many people do not ever use for a variety of reasons. I hope the group can make the contents of those discussions available to those of us who are not on that platform, perhaps in occasional summaries on this talkpage or similar. Thanks! Quiddity (talk) 19:35, 1 May 2019 (UTC)

  • Hi Quiddity! Excellent request - thank you! Because so many non-wikipedians we want to include are on Facebook and other platforms, we very much want to have members talking with each other however we can on the platforms we are already comfortable on, as we explore new possibilities. We also really want to see summaries and cross-posting between the groups! Getting a few volunteers per platform who can summarize and cross post would be ideal, as soon as possible. Lots of volunteers coming in - lots of possible volunteer tasks folks can help with! What else would you like to see as we build out? What would you most like to help with? DrMel (talk) 01:23, 2 May 2019 (UTC)


The iconic Wikipedia puzzle piece in black, within which is a white "W". The left hands side of the "W" contains black Braille spelling “wiki”, then two big dots for K on the next section. K represents the word Knowledge in English Grade 2 Braille. The puzzle piece is curves as if from the wikipedia sphere logo and has a slight 3d shading. Surrounded by the blue and red 'wikimedia circle'
current logo
The black Wikipedia "W", which has the leftmost edge replaced by the Braille spelling of “wiki”, and the center section replaced with two big dots for "K", representing the word Knowledge in English Grade 2 Braille (braille readable when logo printed at 7cm).
possible alternative 1
The same as the current logo with a flat, simple, graphic puzzle piece much larger (braille readable when logo printed at 7cm).
possible alternative 2
The same as the current logo with a curved puzzle piece, but the piece is much larger, so overlaps the 'wikimedia circle' that surrounds it. The puzzle piece was traced from the wikimedia logo so has the same proportions (braille readable when logo printed at 7cm).
possible alternative 3

The team over at the Wikimedia commons image lab has helped make an SVG of the logo. checking it, I noticed a couple of elements that I thought might be improved, but I'd like peoples' opinions: The puzzle piece element ends up being very dominant, and the puzzle symbol is rarely used by WikiProjects of User Groups these days. I've designed an alternative possibility that focuses on the Wikipedia "W" rather than the puzzle piece, so that the braille can be made large enough such that it may be readable when printed in relief. No worries if the previous is preferred. I'm also happy to make any other edits that the community wants - especially those with the ability to test it in relief. If someone points me to any guidelines for minimum recommended braille size, I can work out what it would need to be printed at to be readable. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 11:46, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

@Evolution and evolvability: Cool, thanks. These guidelines from the Braille Authority of North America are probably as good a starting point as any. The relevant values seem to be the height, the bass diameter, and the distance between dots in a single cell. Graham87 (talk) 11:54, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
@Graham87: Champion - that's exactly what I was in need of. I'll read up on them and update the design accordingly. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 12:03, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Based on the guideliens and feedback from DrMel, I've put together a couple of additional logo versions that may be more readable as raised embossed versions (if printed min 7 cm across), and for the partially sighted. I've updated as a list at the top of this section and added them to commons:Category:WikiBlind_User_Group. Hopefully the alt text is clear. I'm happy to make further versions upon request, or to move them to facebook if that's a better place for discussion. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 13:16, 30 May 2019 (UTC)

WikiBlind outreach grant application[edit]

Our first little grant application is live! We'd welcome your reviews, questions, comments and endorsements. Thanks for the encouragement and mentoring! Grants:Project/Rapid/DrMel/wikiBlind_outreach_at_NFB

DrMel (talk) 06:14, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

Data sonifications[edit]

I wanted to share my interest in this group.

I am not blind and I do not have much experience collaborating with people who are blind, but I do projects with data and am interested in data sonification. Presenting charts and graphs in sound form is useful in all sorts of contexts, but I imagine that auditory versions of figures must be of special interest to blind people. I am inexperienced in this field but as an amateur am coordinating a bit to develop Wikidata tools to present results in sound form.

I expect that there are other people like me who do not have experience working with sound, but who have professional reasons associated with new technology to want publishing to be more accessible in ways beyond only visual design. My guess and intuition is that a WikiBlind wiki organization will have quickly grow to have an impact beyond the blind community, and will actually encourage the development of universal accessibility features which benefit everyone. Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:07, 18 May 2019 (UTC)

User Group application[edit]

Hope that when y'all decide to put one in, that it is successful. The sooner the better, so that way a representative from this user group can make it to the Wikimedia Summit in 2020.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 23:25, 9 July 2019 (UTC)

13 years[edit]

On 03 February 2006, it was reported to the WMF that our CAPTCHA system discriminates against blind people. See

This appears to be a direct violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and leaves Wikipedia open to the possibility of a discrimination lawsuit.

In particular, National Federation of the Blind v. Target Corp. was a case where a major retailer, Target Corp., was sued because their web designers failed to design its website to enable persons with low or no vision to use it.

So why, after 13 years of inaction, do we not have a set of software requirements (including a testable definition of "done") and a schedule for solving this?

And no, I will not accept any proposed "solution" that lacks the name of an WMF employee who has been given the assignment of fixing this, a budget that says how much the WMF expects to spend on solving this, a deadline that say how long the WMF expects it to take to solve this, and a way for an independent third party to look at the results and verify whether the requirements were met.

Regarding hiring someone else to fix this, I would very much like the idea to be given careful consideration rather than being dismissed out of hand. The WMF is great at running an encyclopedia. Nobody else, anywhere on earth, even comes close.

However, running an encyclopedia does not magically confer the ability to create high-quality software, and the WMF has a pretty dismal track record in this area (Examples: Visual Editor, Flow, 13 years of failing to making this obvious but boring improvement to accommodate blind people.)

I realize that this will anger some people, but why should it? Olympic-level athletes don't get angry when you tell them that their athletic ability does not magically confer the ability to repair automobiles or do astronomy.

Comments from the phabricator page:

  • "This doesn't just effect addition of external links, it also prevents new users from registering, requiring them to use ACC to request an account."
  • "There is no one currently assigned to this, so no one is taking it upon him to fix this at this moment. It's also not something that any team at the foundation is responsible for, so it's not likely to be prioritized from that end."
  • The only thing stopping us from having an audio captcha is that nobody's put the work into implementing it yet." --Source: Chief MediaWiki developer as of 2008
  • "So the question is why has work not been put aside to fix an issue of recognised high importance that will, 13 years after first being raised, resolve an issue that results in us discriminating against people who are (in many jurisdictions) a legally protected minority?"

If you would like to comment on this, it is being discussed at

--Guy Macon (talk) 16:01, 15 July 2019 (UTC)

User requests support creating account[edit]

In private OTRS ticket:2019091110005093 user reports difficulty creating a Wikimedia account due to interface inaccessibility for people who are blind. The user cannot get by the Captcha.

I do not know if we have any referral process from this group to such users. Blue Rasberry (talk) 16:55, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

Practically always, the free and open-source captcha and recaptcha codelets or mini code implementations have some sort of smudged or munged or altered or slashed visual image that must be interpreted and typed in, or a collage of crosswalks, bridges, bicycles, cars, buses, traffic lights etc must be clicked on visually in a grid... But nearly all the time, there is a small speaker icon to *hear* the clue audibly instead, and the visually impaired person being challenged by the captcha or recaptcha would then keyboard in or speak / voice to text the response to be admitted. Can the person who is having these problems give us a little more information, perhaps the exact URL that they were at, if possible can they take a screenshot and post it to or perhaps a friend or family member could screenshot with what they are having an issue? -From Peter {a.k.a. Vid2vid (talk | contribs)} 03:15, 25 April 2020 (UTC).

Blocked for Disruptive Editing[edit]

Graham87 blocked me for Disruptive Editing. It's been over a month, and I still haven't been able to contact him.

Trying to reach friend "Skylar Covich" - text about him has incorrect Wiki UserID?[edit]

Hi all, I am trying to reach a friend "Skylar Covich" - basically to add him to my User page as a list of Wiki friends!! - Anyhewww, the text about him at This Article has an incorrect Wiki UserID?

*Skylar Covich (User:Academic Challenger) will be attending the National Federation of the Blind of California convention from November 7-10, in Milpitas, California. He will hand out WikiBlind cards and explain the process of editing Wikipedia.

Thanks if someone has his current Wiki UserID, in advance. Thank you. -From Peter {a.k.a. Vid2vid (talk | contribs)} 03:53, 24 April 2020 (UTC).

Announcing collapsed/expanded sections correctly on mobile Wikipedia/mobile views on current MediaWikis[edit]

Hi, I wanted to share a recent technical change, that I hope you find an improvement for screenreader users of mobile Wikipedia et al.

With last weeks deployment, collapsible and expanded states of article sections should be correctly announced. My colleagues Jan Drewniak, Jon Robson and myself have been ideating and implementing the change and received already positive feedback from our external partners of the American Foundation for the Blind. If you have any questions or comments, please let us know on or ping me directly.

PS: Congratulations to the official recognition as user group. –Volker E. (WMF) (talk) 02:18, 2 June 2020 (UTC)

Call for candidates - June 2020[edit]

Hi everyone,

The Affiliations Committee (AffCom) – the committee responsible for guiding volunteers in establishing and sustaining Wikimedia chapters, thematic organizations, and user groups – is seeking new members!

The main role of the AffCom is to guide groups of volunteers that are interested in forming Wikimedia affiliates. We review applications from new groups, answer questions and provide advice about the different Wikimedia affiliation models and processes, review affiliate bylaws for compliance with requirements and best practices, and update the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees as well as advise them on issues connected to chapters, thematic organizations and Wikimedia user groups.

The committee consists of five to fifteen members, selected at least once every year, to serve two-year terms. As the committee must hold mid-year elections to replenish its members at this time, those joining the committee during the current process will serve a slightly extended term from July 2020 through December 2022.

AffCom continues to closely monitor the Wikimedia 2030 Strategy process initiated in 2016. While the affiliation models continue to be discussed as part of the broader strategy discussion, as no decisions have been made to change the current affiliation models yet, AffCom continues to work in the same manner with regard to affiliate recognitions and intervention support for affiliates with issues of non-compliance in 2020. AffCom continues to process applications for user group and chapter/thematic organization creation, while we await the strategy next steps and begin to prepare for a smooth transition of the committee and affiliates ecosystem to any changing movement structures and systems in 2021.

Being a part of the AffCom requires communication with volunteers all over the world, negotiating skills, cultural sensitivity, and the ability to understand legal texts. We look for a mix of different skill sets in our members.

Click here for further details.

James Heilman on behalf of AffCom

MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 06:18, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

Affiliations Committee elections announcement June 2020[edit]

Hi everyone,

This is a friendly reminder that the Affiliations Committee (AffCom) – the committee responsible for guiding volunteers in establishing and sustaining Wikimedia chapters, thematic organizations, and user groups – is seeking new members! The deadline to post your application on the nomination page is 30 June 2020.

  • Application process: Considering the anticipated changes following the Strategy recommendations, we had a limited scope to introduce changes in the process. We have made a small but impactful addition to the application process by introducing the Self Assessment survey form which will help the committee know more about your engagement as endorsements are not consistently shared, may not be representative, and often do not speak to the specific skills needed.
  • Selection process: No change; see: Membership.

If you have any questions, please contact me and/or the committee as a whole. We are happy to answer questions about our work if this helps people decide to apply. Please distribute this announcement among your networks. Good luck to all the candidates!

On behalf of the committee,

--Rosiestep (talk) 00:49, 19 June 2020 (UTC) via MassMessaging

June 21 All-Affiliates Brand Meeting[edit]

All Wikimedia affiliates are invited to join an urgent All-Affiliates Brand Meeting in two sessions on Sunday June 21, regarding the most recent developments.-- Pharos (talk) 19:59, 19 June 2020 (UTC)

Email Volunteer Response team ticket[edit]

This is a message from the email Volunteer Response Team or OTRS.

There seems to me nothing private in this message, but we assume that emails to are private. The user is blind and asks an accessibility question. I am not sure where to send them. Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:26, 22 June 2020 (UTC)

  • What is he asking about? If is an accessibility related "how to" question, you or some of us might know the answer. Regards. -- Tito Dutta (talk) 13:25, 27 June 2020 (UTC)

Feedback on movement names[edit]

There are a lot of conversations happening about the future of our movement names. We hope that you are part of these discussions and that your community is represented.

Since 16 June, the Foundation Brand Team has been running a survey in 7 languages about 3 naming options. There are also community members sharing concerns about renaming in a Community Open Letter.

You should have received a separate affiliate survey via email. If you have not, feel free to email brandproject(_AT_)

Our goal in this call for feedback is to hear from across the community, so we encourage you to participate in the survey, the open letter, or both. The survey will go through 7 July in all timezones. Input from the survey and discussions will be analyzed and published on Meta-Wiki.

Thanks for thinking about the future of the movement --The Brand Project team, 13:37, 2 July 2020 (UTC)

Note: The survey is conducted via a third-party service, which may subject it to additional terms. For more information on privacy and data-handling, see the survey privacy statement.

Announcing a new wiki project! Welcome, Abstract Wikipedia[edit]

Hello everyone. I am posting the announcement below, which you may have missed elsewhere, and in the hope that you can share it with your local communities. Please note that it may be available in your language at m:Special:MyLanguage/Abstract Wikipedia/July 2020 announcement. Thanks for your attention! m:User:Elitre (WMF)

New Research: Characterizing Existing Practices for Identifying and Mitigating Knowledge Gaps[edit]

Hi All,

My name is Jim Maddock, and I’m with a researcher at Northwestern University working on identifying missing content on Wikipedia. As a first step, we want to talk to members of Wikipedia’s editor community to better understand how editors currently identify and add missing content. Participants must be Wikipedia editors who speak English and will be compensated for their time.

For more details about our project, please refer to our project meta page. If you are interested in participating, please fill out this screener and consent form. Additionally, feel free to reach out to me at if you have any thoughts and suggestions. Thanks!

Study Information[edit]

Study Title: Characterizing Existing Practices for Identifying and Mitigating Knowledge Gaps

PI: Darren Gergle

IRB Study #: STU00212033

Cheers, Jmads-nu (talk) 16:13, 4 August 2020 (UTC)