The idea behind the “Be My Guide” initiative is to lend your eyes to the visually impaired and show them the world. Descriptions of various images, photo and video, are being collected and published at bemyguide.org (Bulgarian only).
All you need to do is put in your own words what a famous person looks like, convey the beauty of a scenery or a painting, describe remarkable landmarks and buildings from all over the globe, or explain what's going on in that video you just shared with your friends.
The content of the website is aimed at both people who were born blind and at those who have lost their sight later in life. The descriptions you send in English will be translated by the team and published in Bulgarian.
The website is modeled on the Russian version of the initiative and is administered by volunteers. If you can help them also create a logo of the project, don't hesitate to get in touch. The “I will do it” button will take you to the contact details.
The initiative is run by an informal group of volunteers, both sighted and visually impaired.
Imagine you are reading an article about a Mars rover or a brand new car which is packed with illustrations, but the text does not offer enough information about what they actually look like. A visually impaired person who is interested in the subject will have no way to get a mental picture of these technological marvels.
Despite the progress of assistive technologies which transform the text displayed on a computer screen into speech, and thus allow the blind and visually impaired to read the story on the Mars rover, for example, there is still no software which can describe pictures and video. When the speech synthesizer encounters an image in the text, it simply says “photo” or “picture”, pronounces a set of letters and numbers, or remains silent. Only a human can describe visual information to those who can’t see it.
The blind and visually impaired people are often shy to ask for such kind of assistance, even if they live with their families. Or, as we all know, sometimes friends and relatives are just too busy to spare the time. That's when volunteers are the ones to count on.
What to describe?
Just about anything you want to share. The only consideration you need to take into account is that "Be Me Guide" is an educational and informative website visited by children and youngsters too.
Wherever inspiration finds you. You may describe a breathtaking view from the top of the mountain, while you are standing right there, and submit later. Or you may describe a picture or a video you just found on the internet. No limits.
- Narrative skills.
- Good grammar.
- Basic computer literacy.
- No age restrictions as long as descriptions are mature and to the point.
How do I take part?
Click the green "I will do it" button to see how to submit your description.
// photo by Luke Chesser
Once a mission you participate in ends, you can tell us how it went in a couple of sentences ("it was great" won't do).
It's simple: after the end we send you instructions - follow them. This way you earn points and rise in rank , others get inspired and we're all happy.