Friday, 8 May 2015

Access All Areas: Adaptive Crochet

International Access Symbol (white wheelchair symbol on a blue background) created with crochet by Jodiebodie using a freeform technique to create the shapes and finished with a white crab stitch border.
International Access Symbol
crocheted by Jodie
As a regular visitor to Rachel Choi's extremely useful and informative Crochet Spot web site, I was very pleased to read an article about 'Adaptive Crochet for the Legally Blind'. 

I have a number of friends and associates who have vision impairments. I keep them in mind whenever I post by adding captions to photographs and providing alternative text so that the photo content can be described by a screen reader.  

I have only recently learned how to do the 'alt-text' so I am gradually going back over previous posts to add it. The aim is to eventually have 'alt-text' for every image on Lupey Loops. Once I am proficient at it, I will post a tutorial so that you can make your images 'screen-reader friendly' as well.

One of Rachel's Crochet Spot readers, Sister Margaret Mary made a video to demonstrate the methods that enable her to crochet despite being legally blind and kindly posted it to Crochet Spot so that everyone can benefit from her expertise.

Rachel recommends having a look at this video because anyone who crochets can use the methods shown.  How handy would it be to have these techniques at one's disposal for those times when there is limited light; e.g. during a night-time power failure or forgetting one's glasses.  

I am always saying that whenever we make adjustments to cater for the needs of people with disabilities, more often than not, the adjustments benefit other people in society too, not just those living with disability.  The crochet video by Sister Margaret Mary, who generously donated her time and energy to share, is a perfect example of this concept, and a perfect topic for my 'Access All Areas' series of blog entries.

If you have any coordination or mobility issues with your hands, you may be able to benefit from the ideas presented in this video because Sister Margaret Mary shows some alternative ways to make a slip knot and work stitches, including the use of the body to stabilise the hook.

If you struggle to maintain yarn tension by looping or feeding the source yarn over the back of your hand or around fingers, then this video might be for you too, as Sister Margaret Mary tensions the yarn within her hand instead.

Here is a link to her video on Crochet Spot:  Adaptive Crochet for the Legally Blind.

I am thrilled that Rachel Choi brought my attention to these adaptive techniques because it is useful to have a repertoire of methods, (you never know when you will need to use them) especially if you teach crochet to others or if you do a lot of crochet and need to change your hand positions regularly.

Many thanks to Rachel and Sister Margaret Mary for allowing me to share news of this video resource on Lupey Loops.


Choi, Rachel, "Adaptive Crochet for the Legally Blind", online article, 21 March 2015:

Crochet Spot, web site: 
Crochet Spot has practical information, interesting discussion and thoughtful articles on diverse subjects relating to crochet.

Lupey Loops, posts about 'access':

Sister Margaret Mary, "Adaptive Crochet Method Updated", video, Sister Margaret Mary SJW, Utube channel, Utube web site, 21 February 2014:


  1. These readable subtitles to the pics are such a good idea! I will keep it in mind, hopefully we can make our blog more acessable too one day!

    Take care
    Anne (Crochet Between Worlds)

    1. Alt-text is not a subtitle but a description of the image embedded in the picture file.
      This is separate to captions which are elements of text which can be added next to an image on the blog.
      I might use a caption to say "This is the view from my window" but then I will provide alt-text that will describe the view; e.g. "In the foreground is a small patio with a table and 4 chairs. Beyond the patio is a lawn with marigolds in the surrounding raised garden beds." etc.
      If you edit your blog on Blogger you can add alternative text when inserting images into the blog post. Once an image is inserted into the blog editor, click on the image and choose the 'properties' option. A box will pop up containing a "title text' field and an "ALT-text" field.
      I am yet to get feedback from friends who use screen readers about how Blogger's Alt-text works but I do believe it is a requirement for software developers to incorporate alt-text on their sites for equity of access, especially when an image is used to illustrate or embellish text. I just think it is a courtesy to include everyone when sharing information. If the content of an image is worth sharing, then it is worth making sure that everyone can access it.
      Good luck with improving access on your blog.

  2. Kathryn Vercillo posted an article on her blog Crochet Concupiscence about "15+ Inspiring Blind Crocheters and Visually Impaired People who Crochet" (20 May 2015):