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A remarkable way for the visually impaired to sample the masterpieces

The No. 1 unspoken rule in an art museum: Don’t touch. Museum guards are strategically placed throughout museums to ensure harmful oils on visitors’ hands won’t corrode artwork.

But at the current exhibition at the Museo del Prado in Madrid, touching is encouraged.

Works from masters such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Francisco Goya, and El Greco can be felt at the exhibition for the museum’s visually impaired guests. It features six three-dimensional works from different genres created using a technique called “Didu” that adds volume and texture. The works are accompanied by text in written in Braille. The museum’s sighted guests can experience the exhibit with darkened glasses and an accompanying audio guide.

“Developed in collaboration with professionals in the sector of visual impairment,” reads the exhibition’s text, “this project allows for the reality of the painting to be perceived in order to mentally recreate it as a whole and thus provide an emotional perception of the work. Non-sighted visitors will be able to obtain a heightened degree of artistic-aesthetic-creative enjoyment in order to explain, discuss and analyze these works in the Prado.”

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Tumblr accessibility culture fix: link text

Dear Tumblr users:

There’s a cultural thing on Tumblr that if people changed just a little, would be a big accessibility win. You know the technique of linking to the source of content with just a linked “X”, eg: [x], or numbers, eg 1, 2, and 3? Please don’t do this.

That tiny “X” makes a tiny, tiny target. It’s hard to see if you have vision impairments or other visual processing issues. It’s hard to navigate to with a mouse for users with mobility issues, and a nearly impossible target for many people with small touch screens. For screen reader users, it simply announces as “link: X” and can be very difficult to understand out of context. For people with cognitive processing issues, it’s a link that tells the user nothing about its destination.

And most of these limitations can also be problems for able-bodied people!

Instead, using meaningful link text. Some examples might be

For a video, the title of the video is a pretty good choice, eg “How Blind People Use Twitter & You Tube on the iPhone 4S”. Or “Source”, or “source at YouTube”, or “video source”.

It’s a little thing which can be hugely beneficial to people with disabilities. Thanks, and I hope you consider changing how you link.

(Please reblog, too!)

We Asked a Color Vision Expert About the Color of that Dress

Something really weird happened on the internet today. A girl posted a picture of a dress on Tumblr, with a caption that sounded pretty desperate: “Guys please help me—is this dress white and gold, or blue and black? Me and my friends can’t agree and we are freaking the fuck out.”

One of my friends sent me the link. “What color is the dress?” he asked. “Blue and black, obviously,” I replied. Then I asked my co-worker Mike Pearl, just to be sure. To my horror, he honestly and legitimately saw the dress as white and gold.

About two-thirds of people see it as white and gold, according to a Buzzfeed quiz, which made me feel like I was going insane. I opened the link in multiple different browsers. I looked at it on my laptop and on my iPhone. I printed the image out. It still looked blue and black to me. Finally, I called up Dr. Jay Neitz, PhD, a color vision researcher at the University of Washington.

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Once more, your friendly neighborhood Disability in Kidlit is seeking disabled volunteers savvy about disability representation.

For our upcoming “Autism on the Page” event:

  • autistic people of color able to write an article about autistic representation on a very tight deadline, ie. ASAP, before April. We’d particularly love an article about how autistic characters of color are often either ignored, or not seen from an intersectional approach; other topics are entirely possible too, however.
  • autistic people familiar with autism representation in middle grade and young adult literature able to write an article on the same tight deadline. We have a few very specific topics in mind.

For an upcoming mental illness-centric project:

  • a person of color with mental illness to talk about the demonization of mental illness in fiction from several angles, including the dangerous real-life effects of that kind of representation. We would particularly love to hear from a Black person on this matter. This can take the form of an article or a roundtable-style discussion with others. We’re looking at a deadline of mid-late April.

For reviews and help with our upcoming recommendation list for librarians, we’re seeking people with the following conditions: 

  • albinism
  • amputation (congenital or acquired, but esp. acquired)
  • acquired blindness
  • acquired paraplegia
  • schizophrenia

We would love to hear from people by April or May, but as this is not for a specific project, afterward is possible as well.

If you’re interested in participating in any of these projects, please email us at team@disabilityinkidlit.com for questions or details.

As always, we’re happy to see contributors with any kind of disability at any point down the line. We’re open to both reviews (we’ll attempt to provide the book) and articles (particularly articles exploring disability tropes). Don’t hesitate to contact us if you dig the site even if you don’t fit the above criteria. They’re simply what we’re currently in need of for these particular projects.

We always highly encourage people of color, queer people, trans people, and people with multiple disabilities to contribute.

لا أعتقد أننا أصبنا بالعمى، بل نحن عميان من البداية. حتى لو كنا نرى… لم نكن حقاً نرى.
— 

José Saramago, Blindness

  • Translation: "I don’t think we did go blind, I think we are blind, Blind but seeing, Blind people who can see, but do not see."