5 ways to make your YouTube videos more accessible to people with a visual impairment

I decided to do this post because a couple of the YouTubers that I follow have asked me if there’s anything they can do to make their channels more accessible to people with a visual impairment.

I don’t expect people to completely rethink what they’re doing or particularly to accommodate me, and in many ways, I enjoy “watching” YouTube videos in the same way as everyone else – just without the pictures! I don’t want or expect special treatment. But it makes me happy when people ask this question because they want to be inclusive and make watching their channel a good experience for people who may not be able to see what they’re doing.

YouTube is a visual platform, but I use it as a source of information and entertainment and I know a lot of other visually impaired people do too.

So if you’re interested, here are some things that you could do to make your YouTube channel more accessible.

1. Don’t rely on putting information on screen

If you just display information on the screen, I can’t read it. I know it’s handy for putting up prices or where you can get products, but if you could put that same information in the information box as well, it means that blind people can read it. Information posted onscreen during a video is not read out by screenreading software, but I can use my software to read information on a web page.

If there are key points that you want people to remember – don’t just post them on screen with some music in the background. Either read them out, or put the information in the description box. Some of your sighted viewers have your videos on while they’re doing other things, and you can’t expect people to be glued to the screen at all times!

Having the information in a static place can also help sighted viewers if they want to view a particular link that you mentioned earlier in the video, or to refer back to something.

2. Try to describe colours

If you’re talking about a product, where possible, it’s good if you can mention the colour, rather than saying “it’s this colour” or not mentioning it at all because most people can see it. It’s like scents – your viewers can’t smell something, so often you try to say what it’s like or what it reminds you of. For people who can’t see the colours, it’s great if you can mention what they are, particularly if the product has a name that’s not connected with the colour. If a piece of make-up is named after an emotion, for example, I have no idea what colour that is!

The same goes for clothes too. Is it a long or short dress? Straight or floaty skirt? Long-strap or clutch bag? Chunky or delicate necklace?

Reading out some product information will make the video a bit longer, but I really appreciate it when people do!

If it’s a Vlog, can you say something about what you’re doing? I don’t mean you have to describe everything you see and do, but I enjoy Vlogs more when people give their viewers some clue as to what they’re talking about, rather than just capturing footage with the camera. I get the impression that they would do this anyway, and it’s nothing to do with making the content more accessible, but the fact that we have a bit more verbal information does make the Vlog more enjoyable for someone who can’t see what’s going on.

3. Not all of your YouTube viewers are on Instagram

I know many of them will be. There are also blind people on Instagram, but my time there lasted about 3 days. If you can’t see the pictures, it can be quite a boring experience. So whilst I can understand that many YouTubers want to get people following them on all platforms, there are still people in the world who have no plans to sign up to Instagram. So if you say things like “find out what I thought about the product on my Instagram stories” Or “enter by following me on Instagram”, you’re potentially excluding some people. If someone has chosen to follow you on YouTube, they shouldn’t have to jump through extra hoops to find out what you thought of a product. Even if you decide to do a story on it somewhere else, you could mention your thoughts in your next video as well.

4. Lookbooks aren’t accessible to people who can’t see them

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do them because I’m sure some people enjoy them, but signposting is good. I’m happy to just not click on something if I know there will only be music and content I can’t access, but it saves my time if it’s clear from the title or description that that’s what it is!

5.Be willing to answer questions

I don’t mean you should prepare to be bombarded by loads of detailed questions, but I certainly appreciate it when people whom I follow take the time to reply back about things like the shade or consistency of a product. It’s generally a good thing to do if you interact with viewers anyway, because it’s a way to carry on the conversation and build up a relationship with them, but if someone didn’t get a piece of information that they wanted because they couldn’t see what you were showing, it’s helpful if you can take a couple of minutes to answer a question. You can’t be expected to know everything that people might want to know!

I hope the tips were useful.

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Feel Unique haul – part 1

I’d heard about Feel Unique’s pick n’ mix service, which means you get to choose a number of samples and only pay the packaging, but I only really got interested in Feel Unique when I learned that it was much more than the sample service. I saw a Youtube on Willow Biggs’ channel about the Feel Unique sale, so I decided to check it out!

I was interested because I’d noticed that some of the things that I wanted to buy were cheaper than on Amazon, and I also couldn’t find some products that I wanted in my local Boots, so I was pleased when they showed up on Feel Unique.

My first order came to just under £30. I put the order in last Wednesday and my box arrived yesterday – well-packed so that nothing got damaged on the journey. I also got an email for tracking my parcel, but the parcel turned up earlier than it was scheduled to, so that was great.

I’m going to show you half of the items now and half at the end of the week.

Feel Unique has a special promotion for inviting new people to join. You can get £10 off your first order by going onto the site using my affiliate link. This offer is open to new customers only, and the minimum spend is £30. So basically you can get £30 of products for £20. This is an affiliate link, so I also get a reward – in this case it’s £10 worth of products, which I will use to buy new things to test out on Unseen Beauty. However I only promote things that I enjoy, and I was very happy with the service I received from Feel Unique.

Unfortunately I think the summer sale is now over, but even without the sale, there are bargains to be found, and you can also sign up for the newsletter that lets you know what’s coming up.

Products from Zoella Beauty

The first three things that I chose were from the Zoella Beauty brand. I was intrigued about Youtubers having their own merchandise, and I’d recently seen a review of a bunch of Zoella’s products.

I didn’t get so many from this line because I’m not really a bath bomb kind of girl, but I did find three things to try.

When asked in a recent interview which of her products she would recommend for someone who hadn’t tried any, she said it would have to be the Scooper Duper bubble bath. It’s a big pot with 400ml of bubble bath in it. The idea is that you scoop a load out with your hand and hold it under the running water for extra bubbles! It’s described as floral, but it’s not an in-your-face kind of floral that would turn me off. It contains vitamin E, aloe and shea butter to soothe and soften the skin.

I also picked up the wonderous whip body cream, which contains some of the same ingredients as the bubble bath. It’s a light-textured lotion, which I think is nice for the summer, when you particularly want something that will absorb quickly. The wonderous whip comes in a tub similar to the bubble bath, but smaller because it’s 200ml. I’ve only had thick body butters in a tub like this before, but it goes on nicely and it’s a good way to make sure you get all of it – not like some of the bottles that you have to squish and squish till you get every last drop out!

The last thing I picked up was the Zoella Wonder Hand moisturising hand cream. It’s described as having a calming feminine fragrance. I’m not sure how I’d describe the fragrance – I guess it’s floral but I tend to go for more heavily-scented hand creams than this one. The handcream comes in a 90g tube and it is a non-greasy formula that left my hands feeling soft.

Overall I was pleased with these products. I will use all of them up and I would buy the first two again.

Have you tried any of Zoella’s products? Let me know in the comments. Also, have you ever shopped at Feel Unique?

My next post will be about the other things that I got in my Feel Unique haul!

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This post contains some affiliate links, but I only promote things that I’ve tried and tested.

10 of my favourite youtubers

Ever wondered what kind of videos a blind beauty and lifestyle blogger enjoys? Here are 10 of my favourite youtubers!

So, you may be surprised that someone who can’t see anything at all has a big list of Youtube videos to watch every day! After all, it’s a very visual site. But no! Unlike Instagram and Pinterest, which I don’t enjoy at all, Youtube has so much great information and as people often talk about products, what they think of them, how they look, and how well they work, it’s a great way for me to get information.

Obviously there are some types of video that I won’t watch. Lookbooks with no speech are a classic example. But when it comes to unboxings and product reviews, I have a long list of people that I follow because I like what they have to say. Some people are more descriptive than others. Some get the same beauty boxes as me. My boyfriend does read out the information, but if I can get it first from a Youtube channel, plus what someone thinks of the colour etc, I’m winning!

Here are 10 of my favourite Youtubers. A couple are full-time Youtubers, but many are people like me who are interested in the beauty industry and who share their thoughts and ideas as a hobby. What I mean is that I haven’t gone for the biggest channels that everyone knows about – I’ve picked out ten whose content has helped me to make exciting new beauty discoveries, or who help me to learn about new products.

I don’t know who has the best camera set-up or lighting because I can’t see anything on the videos. These channels made it into my top 10 because I like their audio content and the way that the Youtuber’s personality comes across!

This list is in no particular order, but I’ll start with the person who gave me the idea to do this.

1. Julie Barbour

I first got the idea of doing a favourite Youtuber blog from Julie, who did a favourite Youtuber video on her channel and I thought it was a really nice idea.

I first discovered the channel because Julie does Latest in Beauty unboxings and I was looking for people who were talking about that. She also does other things such as hauls, make-up looks and favourites. I like Julie’s honesty and the way she used the favourites video to give something back to the Youtube community.

Diaryofa40something

Claire from Diaryofa40something is always bright and bubbly and her enthusiasm for whatever she’s talking about really shines through!

Claire does unboxings, tutorials, reviews and product tests and although we don’t get the same boxes, she gives me ideas about new products to try. I also like the way that she goes back to the products to give us her review after using them – something you can’t always do in an unboxing because you need time to see if the product is any good!

3. Lightning Lass

Lightning Lass is another blogger who does unboxings, reviews and hauls. She’s also great at hunting out deals and special offers that I haven’t heard about! I don’t know where she finds them, but I’m glad she shares them with us!

4. Wavy Kate

I discovered Wavy Kate when I was looking for Latest in Beauty reviews, but then I watched a whole bunch of videos from her back catalogue! Kate’s chatty and friendly style makes you feel like you’re grabbing a coffee with her whilst you find out what she thinks of her latest new products or unboxing a haul.

5. Fashion Mumbler

I discovered Josie’s channel when I started getting into Youtube last year and I was looking for some advent calendar reviews. Josie did a very comprehensive review of a bunch of advent calendars, and she also did daily vlogging throughout December, which made me feel as though I got to know her faster. I particularly enjoy her roundups of new products – as someone who can’t see what’s new in the shops, I really enjoy getting a heads-up about what brands are bringing out in terms of make-up and skincare. And Josie has a cute doggy – now two – so of course I want to know how they are!

6. Fleur DeForce

I also started watching Fleur deForce’s channel around the beginning of December, so saw all her festive content, and more cute dogs. I have picked up tips from this channel about new products to buy and there is a good mix of high-end and high street make-up reviews on the channel.

7. Sussex Sandra

I discovered Sandra’s channel when I was looking for people who review Lovelula boxes, because I get this natural skincare box and although I enjoy the products, there don’t seem to be many unboxings of it. I then found out that Sandra gets Latest in Beauty too, which is my other subscription box. The thing that stands out for me about Sandra’s channel is her attention to detail and the way she takes time to find out about the products. This is particularly good for me because I can’t read the packaging myself, so it saves me having to ask someone to do it, or to find out the exact name so that I can do my own online research.

Sandra also does other unboxings and product reviews on her channel and I appreciate her honesty!

8. Willow Biggs

willow’s channel has plenty of unboxings, hauls and tutorials. Like many of the other channels mentioned, particularly the smaller ones, Willow takes the time to answer comments and talk to her followers, which creates a sense of community.

9. Fashioneyesta

I’ve included Emily’s channel because it’s another one of the channels that I followed from the beginning of my time on Youtube, and Emily also inspired me to start Unseen Beauty. When I started looking for beauty and lifestyle content by women with a visual impairment, I was surprised at how little there is out there. But Emily has a blog and a Youtube channel where she shares her beauty and fashion likes, tips, and her experiences of life a guide dog owner. I’ve bought a few products following recommendations from this channel!

10. Louise H

I only discovered a Louise’s channel recently, but she also produces a wide range of haul and unboxing videos and I enjoy the way she talks about them.

How about you?

So, which other Youtube channels should I check out? I subscribe to more than 10, so no doubt there will be a part two to this series some time in the future. So do let me know if you have your own channel, or if there is one that you think I should check out!

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If you’d like to get my catch-up emails, usually twice a week, you can sign up using this form.

The emails contain news of my new posts, other things that I’ve enjoyed (podcasts, posts from other bloggers, interesting articles etc), and any UK shopping information that I think my readers might like.