Tommy Edison demonstrates how the blind can connect with Instagram


First Posted: 01/04/13 04:19 PM ET Updated: 01/05/13 08:26 AM ET

By Rob Zanicchi posted Jan 5, 2013

Despite being a visual medium, photography doesn't always require one to look through a viewfinder to frame a shot -- to that effect, one energetic vlogger proves the point even further. Tommy Edison's been blind his entire life and, aside from posting movie reviews from his perspective, hosts a YouTube series where he enthusiastically breaks down what it's like. Along with other videos where he's shown off his cooking skills and described how he understands colors, Tommy has also delved into using the iPhone with its Accessibility options and how he too rides on the Instagram bandwagon.

Although the Instagram video is from last summer, the host's on-camera enjoyment of the service seems to just be reaching the wider areas of the web. In the recording he lets the audience peer through his lens and exposes some of his photos -- both the good and the bad -- along with comedy-laden bits of commentary. Having never owned a camera before, the app allows him to photograph the places he visits and share his experiences. At one point, Tommy even snaps a pic of the cameraman filming him and uploads it to his feed.

In order to quickly navigate the program, Edison utilized the Accessibility options found in Apple's iOS. While most current touchscreen devices have similar capabilities, these features allow the blind and hearing impaired to operate the iPod, iPhone and iPad by activating certain helpful tools. Though it's been around in some form for several years, it's become increasingly useful through advancements like Siri, which aside from serving as a voice-activated digital assistant, can guide you through many actions. Upon swiping the screen, Siri's voice tells Tommy what he is pressing and leads him step-by-step to capture, edit and transmit his pictures.

Aside from voice prompts, some other alterations include zoomed text and inverted colors (white on black instead of black on white) to create screens that are easier to read while more elaborate features such as Guided Access (found in iOS 6) will restrict specific areas of the display to prevent unintended maneuvers. Don't take our word for it, though, watch below to see him break down how he utilizes some of the Accessibility features and Instagram in a couple of episodes from what he calls, The Tommy Edison Experience.

Via: Gizmodo
Source: YouTube (1), (2)