Sometimes, you just have to retool and start fresh. That’s what Dennis Lembree did when he decided that Twitter needed a good tweaking. Realizing that many social networking sites all but shut out visually impaired users, Dennis set his sights on making Twitter a better experience for everyone.
Enter Accessible Twitter. It achieves what Twitter should have achieved but didn’t. Simply put, Accessible Twitter offers a usable alternative to the Twitter site that takes into consideration the specific needs of people with vision loss.
I was curious as to what motivated Dennis to take on this project, so I asked him.
“My motivation is my belief that the web is for everyone, and web sites should be built that way. It’s so frustrating that they are not. So I like to help people access the information and services they want. Plus, it was an exciting and challenging project for me personally.”
As a devout non-programmer, I wondered if Accessible Twitter was years in development. Said Lembree, “I’ve been working on AT for over a year now as a personal project (outside of my day job). So the work is sporadic, depending on my availability and changes in the Twitter service I may need to incorporate.”
Despite my shameless begging of Lembree to overhaul other social networking sites, most of which are not fully accessible, it is apparently not on the menu. “Unfortunately, I have no current plans to overhaul another site.”
If you know someone who wants to jump into social networking but who may be intimidated due to the inability to interpret what is happening on the screen when presented with the Twitter timeline, or who could benefit from audio cues and a simpler, more streamlined, more consistent presentation of on-screen information, try Accessible Twitter. I am a frequent user and am happy to evangelize for this excellent accessible Twitter application. You can find Dennis at Web Overhauls:
Finally, tweet with wild abandon at Accessible Twitter:
See you there. I’m @Accessible_Info.