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)