ReVisions #1

Image of dictionary page open to the definition of revise.Source

“This is the Easiest Way to Unclog Your Drain in 3 Steps,” Better Homes & Gardens website, click here to read.

A clogged drain is something most if not all of us encounter eventually. I chose this article which summarizes a video about unclogging a slow drain as the first in the ReVisions series for its universal appeal. Reading the text of the article does not solve the problem for me as information is missing, but the video from SweetPotatoPatterns redeems it and fills in the gaps. Here’s my breakdown:

Format

Although BH&G is a print magazine, this appears to be online-only content. It is not behind a paywall.

Photos

The contrast is low on the article’s images depicting the steps. I’m not exactly sure what’s happening. The photos do not include image description tags. When I click on the photos and two finger swipe down on each popped up image, all I hear is, “Zoomed in image.” I must rely on the article text alone.

Text

Step 1

“First, sprinkle baking soda in your bathtub drain. Remove the plug first, if necessary.”

Two issues. First, how much soda? I may waste product by guessing if I didn’t watch the video which includes the info. Second, white powder on a white surface is not visible with my low vision. Did I aim right? I’ll have to touch the drain. Where are some gloves?

Step 2

“Next, pour white vinegar down the drain. As the liquid hits the baking soda, you’ll see it start to bubble and fizz. That means it’s working!”

Clear liquid gives me no contrast, so again I’m going to have to use touch to ensure I’m hitting the mark. I’m not going to see bubbles well, but at least I may be able to hear fizzing. Including multiple ways to verify a step is helpful in how to’s.

Step 3

“Flush the drain with hot tap water and rinse away all the debris that the baking soda broke down.”

With full sight, this is fine. With low vision, I’m going to need my sense of touch. I will run my hands over the area to verify all debris is gone and a smooth surface is left. Thank you, gloves.

Video

The SweetPotatoPatterns video at the end increases the inclusivity of this information. It’s a YouTube video and some of them incorporate subtitles. On my desktop, I have no problem turning on subtitles by selecting the black CC logo on the bottom right of the video screen. On my phone, I did not find the CC logo. I don’t have hearing loss though, so I was able to figure out the ingredient amounts by listening to the video.

Conclusion

A basic how-to article assumes full vision and hearing and needs more than one read over to figure out alternatives. The optional video track for some becomes necessary for me since I can’t rely on my vision to complete this otherwise simple task. The drain fix may take me roughly the same amount of time as a fully sighted person, but navigating this article and determining workable methods increases prep time and materials.

Edited title

This is the Easiest Way If You Are Sighted to Unclog Your Drain in 3 Steps.

ReVisions is my series about making writing more inclusive. Learn about ReVisions here. An upcoming post will discuss ways to boost inclusivity.

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