If you’ve been only looking at memes, try listening to them for a change. In the podcast Say My Meme the world's most relevant memes are literally described to make memes as accessible for blind people as they are for sighted people. The creator of the podcast, Will Butler, is the VP of community at Be My Eyes, an app that lets blind people get answers from sighted people whenever they need assistance. In the podcast, co-host Caroline Desrosiers from the video-animators Scribely and various guests describe memes to Will, who is blind himself.
The podcast reveals the dominance of visual culture on the internet and beyond, implying a focus on eyesight as the dominant sense. Consequently, blind and less-sighted people need assistive technology like alt-texts, screen readers and screen magnifiers to engage well with this. In Say My Meme it becomes clear how very few internet memes include a visual description in the alt text, the alternative text to describe the appearance and function of an image on a page. As memes capture the popular zeitgeist and create a feeling of connectedness by sharing and relating to them, there is a big necessity to make them accessible for everyone.
Funny, light-hearted and open minded, the show is an incredible example of how the power of visual description can make images enjoyable, irrespective of your type of vision. Hearing someone describe a meme in the most precise manner, without overlooking any detail, provides a context and clarity that, also for people who can see the meme, is highly informative and excites your imagination. In doing so, the podcast also offers a stage for blind and less-sighted people to talk about their personal lives, careers and, of course, favourite memes.
Listen to Say My Meme on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and iHeartRadio.