WikiBlind User Group

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WikiBlind logo. The iconic Wikipedia puzzle piece with the colours that represent the Disability Flag, a white W on a black background, and black Braille spelling “wiki” on the left side of the W, then two big dots for K on the next section. K represents the word Knowledge in English Grade 2 Braille.


WikiBlind User Group is an international online group in which our members, blind, low vision and sighted, can connect and discover the options we most enjoy for participating in the free and open knowledge movement.

Our group of volunteers started forming as a Facebook group called WikiBlind, starting on 24 April 2019. If you are on Facebook, please come join our group! WikiBlind group on Facebook

Everyone is welcome to join in the adventures, all ages, abilities and cultures. We strive to be radically welcoming and inclusive, and want to identify and overcome the barriers that stop people from being able to participate in this wild wiki world!

We are very grateful for AFB for supporting the work we've been doing to get to here.

Getting started as a blind editor[edit]

The steps below assume that you are using a desktop screen reader on either Windows, Linux, or Mac OS. For now the links go to the English Wikipedia, where relevant.

  1. The account creation process, along with other editing actions as a new user such as adding links to external websites, require solving a visual CAPTCHA for which there is no audio alternative. For now either contact Graham87, a blind admin, at grahamwp(at)gmail(dot)com, or use the SurveyMonkey link to get in contact with us and we will be happy to help you create an account and bypass all CAPTCHAs, given a desired username and an email address (a temporary password will be emailed to you). Also note the information in the following sub-items:
    1. To check whether your username is available, type it in at the global account information page. if there are no matches, your username is available for use.
    2. The temporary password will expire within seven days, so please log in within that time. Either use the log in link from a Wikipedia page or use this link directly to log in.
  2. Wikipedia has several themes or skins. The default skin is good for reading but not as optimised for editing, especially for blind users, as it uses drop-down boxes to hide less-used content. You can change your theme to the older MonoBook skin in the appearance section of your preferences; you may also want to uncheck the box that says " Enable responsive MonoBook design" for a more consistent layout. There is also a box in the editing section of your preferences that you might want to check: " Temporarily disable the visual editor while it is in beta". Make sure you use the save button to save your changes.
  3. If you are active on Facebook, you can join the WikiBlind group there. If not, we can communicate with you by email or whichever method you prefer (see the above SurveyMonkey link)
  4. It's a good idea to create a user page to introduce yourself to the community and let other Wikipedia editors know that you are blind, as screen reader users can have unusual editing quirks not normally found in the sighted population. The link to your user page is in the personal tools section under the MonoBook skin; your user page can also be accessed by typing "Special:MyPage" in the search box or following this link.
    1. Wikipedia uses wiki-markup to format text (e.g. adding headings and links). For a guide to what various symbols do, the cheatsheet is useful.
    2. To note your affiliation with WikiBlind, type this on your user page, without the quotes: "{{User WikiBlind}}". This uses a template to display your membership of WikiBlind and categorise you as a member. It's possible to add codes to note languages you understand and many, many other things, from the sublime to the ridiculous.


How to Thank Wikipedians[edit]

If you want to help thank the thousands of volunteers who have made Wikipedia and the other projects what they are today, with long hours and almost no recognition, here are three options:

1. Leave a note through us: You can leave a simple "Thank You Wikipedians" message through this survey link or going to www.surveymonkey.com/r/wikiBlind1 - if you can share your email address we can send you details about what happens next.

2. On your own social media: Please post any Thank You and Happy Birthday messages on any social media - just add hashtags #wikiKind #wikiLove #wikipedia20 so we can find it!

3. Learn how to communicate with Wikipedians directly! We want to help everyone learn how to not just read Wikipedia article but be able to leave a note on the discussion pages about articles. Let us show you how! If you give us your email on the survey we will followup with more details.

4. Share some wikiLove - You can paste this message with your own words on any talk page. People around here appreciate kind messages on Talk Pages - they’re rare!

Heart Labyrinth.png
It’s a maze of twisty passages all around here. Sometimes, it’s hard to feel appreciated, and you deserve some love! This Heart-shaped Labyrinth is to say Thank YOU for all your hard work. I appreciate you being here - I really do - and so do these peeps!
You can also share some wikiKind wikiLove (on English Wikipedia) by adding {{subst:Heart Labyrinth}} to any talk page with your own message. Or grab this code and remix to post anywhere!

Some of Thank Yous to Wikipedians people have posted so far[edit]

As part of our work, especially during Wikipedia's 20th anniversary, we're collecting Thank Yous for our fellow Wikipedians. Here are some of the Thank Yous we have collected so far:

  • Thank you wikipedians for all your hard work. It's been a great to be part of it with you.
  • Thank you so much for caring so much about free information that is not pushed by advertisement. It gives me a hope for my children's future.
  • Thanks for protecting public access to reliable information.
  • Thank you for increasing credibility of knowledge shared worldwide.
  • Thank you for creating an amazing resource we use every day!
  • Thank you! Wikipedia has been a valuable resource in my work.
  • Dear wikipedians, thank you so much for all your constant and consistent efforts. I cannot begin to fathom what i'd done without this free encyclopedia at hand.
  • I want to say first of all thank you for inviting me to this a big happy birthday to everyone involved with Wikipedia for the last 20 years.
  • Happy 20th birthday to All the wikipedians out there. Thank you. And I hope you continue to make the world a more accessible and easy to find place of information.
  • Thank you wikipedians for all of your great work. 20 years of providing the world all of the resource information that you can think of. I love you. Keep shattering the large gates elitist gate-keepers keep making.

History and Activities of wikiBlind and members[edit]

WikiBlind was first conceived of in 2006, by Drs. Kirk Adams, president of American Foundation for the Blind and Mel Ganus, cofounder of wikiSoCal, with an intention not just to improve articles related to blindness, but to engage members of our blind, visually impaired and sighted communities in the incredible work of building the future of human knowledge on wikis around the world.

On May 15, 2019, we submitted our first Rapid Grant proposal to Wikimedia. The grant was approved, and three of WikiBlind's members attended the National Federation of the Blind convention in July 2019 to promote the project, including meetings with leaders of the National Federation of the Blind and the American Foundation for the Blind.

In May 2020, we became an official user group with approval by the Wikimedia Foundation's Affiliations Committee!

If you are interested in learning how you might be able to qualify for your own funding from the Wikimedia Foundation, please take a look at WMF Rapid Grants and message us to learn more.

We are also now set up as @wikiBlind on Twitter and we are looking for tweeters!

Members[edit]

If you would like to be a part of the Blind Wikimedians User Group, you can add your username to this list. This is done by typing a number sign (#) below the list of names already here, then four tildes ("~~~~"), then clicking on Publish Changes. Try it!

  1. Graham87 (talk) 02:31, 26 April 2019 (UTC)
  2. DrMel (talk) 02:36, 26 April 2019 (UTC)
  3. Shabab Mustafa (talk) 21:18, 27 April 2019 (UTC)
  4. Ehollig (talk) 00:21, 28 April 2019 (UTC)
  5. Kayusyussuf (talk) 13:44, 28 April 2019 (UTC)
  6. WittiePenguin (talk) 07:44, 30 April 2019 (UTC)
  7. Rforrejin (talk) 13:20, 30 April 2019 (UTC)
  8. RexxS (talk) 17:51, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
  9. This is Paul (talk) 17:53, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
  10. Quiddity (talk) 19:29, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
  11. DrKirkAdams (talk) 20:18, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
  12. MatTheMusician (talk) 03:17, 15 May 2019 (UTC)MatTheMusician
  13. Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:00, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
  14. Academic Challenger (talk) 06:25, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
  15. Comp1089 (talk) 15:24, 18 August 2019 (UTC)
  16. Vid2vid (talk) 21:24, 28 August 2019 (UTC)!
  17. KaraLG84 (talk) 19:43, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  18. Checkingfax (talk) 04:31, 28 December 2019 (UTC)
  19. B20180 (talk) 05:09, 11 May 2020 (UTC)
  20. Rajeeb (talk) 15:17, 24 September 2020 (UTC)
  21. GiFontenelle (talk) 17:21, 3 December 2020 (UTC)
  22. KH32 (talk) 11:46, 8 December 2020 (UTC)
  23. WDfam (talk) 20:50, 22 December 2020 (UTC)
  24. NellieKadare (talk) 22:15, 22 December 2020 (UTC)
  25. Psychoslave (talk)

Supporters and Allies[edit]

  1. --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 23:16, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
  2. --Vahidmasrour (talk) 20:45, 12 July 2019 (UTC)
  3. --DannyS712 (talk) 22:07, 28 August 2019 (UTC)
  4. --Rotideypoc41352 (talk) 20:30, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  5. --Filipinayzd (talk) 18:14, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  6. TheDJ (talkcontribs) 10:55, 4 November 2019 (UTC)
  7. --Reda Kerbouche (talk) 17:50, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
  8. --Emna (talk) 21:34, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
  9. --Volker E. (talk) 23:10, 3 January 2020 (UTC)
  10. --Peter in San Diego, CA, USA, a.k.a. the sighted but be-spectacled Vid2vid (talk). In the 1990s, I was really proud and happy to work as chief tech support for a Westchester County NY USA -based I.S.P. (internet service provider, dialup at the time) that provided a free website to Guiding Eyes for the Blind .. website here, .. a non-profit that gives trained dogs to vision-impaired or sightless folk. 03:58, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
  11. I studied the issue a little bit years ago, total support.--Alexmar983 (talk) 14:07, 14 May 2020 (UTC)
  12. --· · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 12:31, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
  13. Wwwhatsup (talk) 16:15, 1 July 2020 (UTC) (Internet Society Accessibility SIG)
  14. --Yamen (talk) 20:43, 11 September 2020 (UTC)
  15. Conny (talk)
  16. -- Nehaoua (talk) 23:53, 6 December 2020 (UTC)
  17. Praxidicae (talk) 20:24, 15 February 2021 (UTC)
  18. Foeromeo (talk) 13:56, 2 March 2021 (UTC)
  19. Felipe da Fonseca (talk) 18:53, 17 May 2021 (UTC)
  20. NaviNews (talk) 23:44, 24 May 2021 (UTC)

Activities[edit]

  • Launching wikiKind adventures in wikiWonderland and beginning to collect Thank Yous for Wikipedians on 15 January 2021 as our gift on the 20th birthday of Wikipedia.
  • Participating in the Wikimedia Global Conversations that beginning online in November 2020 and continuing into 2021. As part of Dr Mel's participation, she is inviting all attendees to be part of wikiBlind, to help us connect and engage people of all abilities across our communities and around the world.
  • Skylar Covich (User:Academic Challenger) attended the National Federation of the Blind of California convention from November 7–10, 2019, in Milpitas, California. He handed out WikiBlind cards and explained the process of editing Wikipedia.
  • WikiBlind's experienced Wikipedians plans to hold monthly office hours for training of blind editors. Recruitment for training sessions will occur on Twitter, through WikiBlind's Facebook group, and through various Facebook groups and organizations for the blind.
  • Two of WikiBlind's three leaders are in southern California. A focus group of blind individuals will meet in southern California for an editathon.

Reports[edit]

Our User Group Reports are here, with a link to the Annual Report for 2020 here.

Affiliations Committee Resolutions[edit]