WikiBlind User Group/Reports/Annual Report 2021

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This is the 2021 annual report for the wikiBlind User Group. Submitted 22 April 2022.

Reporting on the activities of the wikiBlind user group from January 1 2021 through 31 December 2021. You can find our first report from our launch in 2019 through the end of 2020 here.


As of December 31, 2021, we had 51 people with wikipedia user accounts signed up on our metapage as wikiBlind Members (30 people) or Allies and Supporters (21 more people). We also have 123 members in our Facebook group - which overlaps with our meta page members but also includes people who have not yet gotten through wikipedia account setup.


In 2021, wikiBlind-hosted events have been infrequent, with no funding to support the time and expenses required to coordinate more regular meetups. We did have another virtual birthday party for Wikipedia's 20th birthday, held on Friday, January 15, 2021, with far less time for planning and outreach. We had about 12 people able to attend. A Saturday party would probably have had more attendees.

Dr Skylar Covich works with the Braille Institute in California, and introduced wikipedia editing during one of their online classes on social media over the summer.

Community Outreach & Connections[edit]

In this section we will summarize the work we've poured the most time and energy into in 2021, in our community outreach and connections with others, including our participation in the Global Strategy Movement.

An Interview with wikiBlind cofounder, Skylar Covich[edit]

As part of our work, please enjoy watching this video, made by Ben Fox, a blind filmmaker, and our interview with Dr Skylar Covich, one of our wikiBlind cofounders. We also have this transcript of the video.

American Foundation for the Blind[edit]

We're very grateful to Dr Kirk Adams and the American Foundation for the Blind for partnering with us over the years to make wikiBlind possible.

wikimedia Accessibility User Group[edit]

The Wikimedia Accessibility User Group was born out of conversations at the May 2021 Online Hackathon. WikiBlind is a founding member.

Among many other projects, the Wikimedia Accessibility User Group cares deeply about making progress on the intractable problems of wikipedia account setup barriers, and lack of alternatives to visual captcha. (add link to phabricator tasks)

WikiBlind and Global Strategy Conversations[edit]

DrMel has been the wikiBlind representative and liaison in meetings throughout 2021, and has participated in over 30 hours of Wikimedia Foundation-supported meetings over the course of the year, including a number of virtual regional and WMF events.

As part of her work in Global Strategy, Dr Mel attended a number of meetings including these 5:

  • 22 January meeting on Improved User Experiences
  • 5 February meeting on High Impact Projects
  • 6 February meeting on Skills and Leadership
  • 7 February meeting on Environmental Impacts
  • 12 June meeting on the designs of an Interim Global Council

She has also represented wikiBlind in meetings with Wikimedia Foundation staff and affiliate representatives.

In each meeting, DrMel looks for opportunities to connect with and support other wikipedia organizers to develop opportunities to partner, especially between wikiBlind and regional user groups who have blind community organizations in their region.

Capacity Exchange Network[edit]

DrMel has also been participating extensively in the Capacity Exchange Network project which began weekly meetings on 26 April 2021. More details about that project can be found here

wikimania 2021[edit]

DrMel also represented wikiBlind at the virtual wikimania 2021, and helped prepare presentations by members of the wikimedia Accessibility User Group.


wikiBlind received no financial support from Wikimedia Foundation in 2021, and was discouraged from applying. Our group coordinators have paid for all our group costs out of their personal funds.