Easy Chirp seeks funding for update

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Friday, 5 April 2013 16:44pm

Update 12 June: Easy Chirp's Kickstarter campaign successfully raised over $5000. The platform is going down temporarily from today while the new Easy Chirp is being built.

The accessible Twitter alternative, Easy Chirp, is seeking donations to continue. Easy Chirp replicates Twitter, the social media platform which allows people to post 140-character status updates, so that blind and vision impaired users can participate equally.

Easy Chirp was built in 2009 in response to Twitter’s inaccessibility. While Twitter has put significant work into improving its website and apps, Easy Chirp’s simplicity makes it the preferred option for many, if not most, blind Twitter users.

Currently, Easy Chirp uses the first version of Twitter’s API, the system which allows apps besides Twitter such as Easy Chirp and HootSuite to display tweets. Now, Twitter is updating its API and as a result, Easy Chirp needs an update too.

Easy Chirp’s creator, Dennis Lembrée, has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter so that people can help fund the service’s rebuild. "I created Easy Chirp over four years ago and am touched by the support it has received from the community,” said Lembrée.

"To me, Easy Chirp exemplifies what a web app should be: platform agnostic, accessible, and simple. It provides a unique and necessary service in the social media space."

Easy Chirp is one of the technologies we advise people with disabilities to use if they want to get involved in social media. While it is designed specifically for screen reader users, the platform is also beneficial to older people, people with impaired mobility, and those using old computers or slow internet speeds.

At the time of writing, Lembrée had reached $1700 of his $4000 goal. "It's very early in the Kickstarter campaign and it's already off to a great start. I'm touched, and even a bit teary-eyed, from the strong support Easy Chirp is receiving from the community,” he said.

A detailed guide to overcoming Twitter’s accessibility barriers, including by using Easy Chirp, is available in our Online Media section.

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