(c) 2022 The Buy Nothing Project, Inc.
Buy Nothing Project 
Accessibility & Inclusion Posts
Please feel free to use the text and images below for your posts in your Buy Nothing communities. Each of these posts were offered by a number of Buy Nothing volunteers. You’re welcome to use them if they’re helpful.
Click on each image below to enlarge the image and read the text that can be used a post to share with your Buy Nothing group. 
Visual Accessibility

When you post a photo, please consider including a visual description of the photo as well. This will help neighbors who are blind or have low vision to share in the photo. It can also make word searches easier.

If you’re not sure exactly what to write, try just describing as you would describe something to a friend you were talking on the phone with. Thanks for helping to make this community accessible for all!

If you’re looking for more information about writing visual descriptions, check out this article - https://www.perkinselearning.org/technology/blog/how-write-alt-text-and-image-descriptions-visually-impaired

Image description - A person holds a kaleidoscope to their eye with both hands. Image credit - Luisella Planeta Leoni from Pixabay

Communicate Naturally
The Buy Nothing Project is inclusive at its core. All people are welcome in their local Buy Nothing community. We want you to express yourself in all of the ways that come naturally or easily to you and that meet your communication needs. It’s fine to use a lot of whole words to tell a story about your offer or request, and it’s fine to use abbreviations or acronyms, or to use any combination of words and images that you’d like.  

Some things to keep in mind when writing a post include: Some of the people in your community may communicate most easily in another language. Using simple, clear wording might help more people understand your posts and comments. Some people might be of different generations and may not understand certain slang or abbreviations. Some of the people in your community may process language differently, for instance, by taking language literally. Some people may be rushed for time and just need to be brief to find a new home for their item. Short posts are welcome in Buy Nothing. Some people may have a story to share along with their gift or request. Long posts and stories about Gives, Asks & Gratitude are welcome in Buy Nothing. 

You can help: If you see miscommunication or misunderstanding happening between neighbors, you can comment to offer a helpful perspective or clarification. If you speak multiple languages, you can offer the gift of translation for neighbors who might benefit from that. If you don’t understand a post and want clarification, please ask for that help in a comment. We can all work towards a shared understanding. Google translate is a helpful resource, even if it isn’t perfect. 

Image description: Four people sit around a table in a field, talking. Image credit: Ron Lach from Pexels
A person holds their hands out, palms up, both hands covered with fresh paint stripes in a full rainbow of colors. Image credit – Sharon McCutcheon from Pixabay
Gender Inclusivity
There’s incredible diversity in gender and gender expression in humanity. Please be open to varied use of your gifts by people of all genders. For example, lots of people, old and young, wear dresses, skirts, pants, and other clothing items. The same goes for toys, sports equipment, and items of all kinds and colors and designs. If you’re looking for more information , check out https://lifeoutsidethebinary.com/

Image description: A person holds their hands out, palms up, both hands covered with fresh paint stripes in a full rainbow of colors. Image credit – Sharon McCutcheon from Pixabay
Share a Greeting
Let’s celebrate the languages and cultures that are present in our community. Do you speak multiple languages? Share a greeting to everyone here and let’s see how many languages our community speaks!

Image description - The word “welcome” translated into many different languages which written in white chalk on a black chalkboard, all arranged in the shape of a heart. Image credit - Oberholster Venita from Pixabay
photo of a field of colorful wildflowers and grasses on a sunny day
Buy Nothing Accessibility
We want Buy Nothing to be as accessible as possible to everyone, so that each person can connect with this community and participate fully. Accessibility has a lot of different meanings! Here’s a list that covers some of the things you can think about when you’re posting your Gives, Asks and Gratitude. You might not be able to change some of the things below, but we’ve found it helps if we’re all aware of what accessibility involves, so we can help each other out to make Buy Nothing participation possible for everyone. 

Physical accessibility
  • Let people know in your pick-up/delivery directions if your home isn’t accessible to people who use mobility aids such as wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, etc. You might be able to create an accessible pick-up location that doesn’t involve stairs, for instance. 
  • If your location is close to mass transit, a bike trail, walking trail, etc, let people know - This might make your gift more attractive to people who use transportation other than cars to pick their gifts up. 
  • If you’re willing and able to offer the Gift of Delivery to others, let them know in your post or comments. This is a powerful gift that enables many people to give and receive even if they aren’t able to pick-up or deliver gifts. Not everyone is independently mobile, or feels safe picking gifts up, for a wide variety of reasons. 
  • If you’re picking up or delivering a gift, prioritize your own safety, so that you feel comfortable with the situation, location, etc. Advocate for yourself and keep yourself safe.
  • If you are setting out a gift for contactless pick-up, is it easy to find and clearly labeled? 
  • Let your neighbors know that you’re part of Buy Nothing, and that people will be dropping by to pick up and drop off gifts. This helps protect people from suspicion and possible altercations or involvement with police. 
  • Describe your Gives and Asks with enough detail that people with low vision or blindness will know what you’re offering or requesting. 
  • Attach easy to find and easy to read labels to gifts when you set them out for people to pick up. 
  • If you use scented laundry detergent or dryer sheets, you can put this information into any offers of clothing or bedding. Do you use a lot of scented products in your home which could linger on any items you’re giving?
  • If you have cats, dogs, or other animals whose fur and dander may get on items you’re giving, you can include this information in your Gives and Asks .
  • If your household involves smoke of any substance, you can include this information when you offer items from your home. 
  • If you’re sharing food, you can list the ingredients.
  • If you have health issues or allergies triggered by particular substances, put this into your Ask posts, so people know whether what they’d like to offer is appropriate for you. 
  • Using clear language when you describe details of your Give, Ask and Gratitude posts will make your posts more understandable for people who have a different first language. 
  • If you’re confused by another person’s posts or comments, ask for help understanding them.
  • If someone uses a language you’re not familiar with, give Google Translate a try - it’s not perfect, but it’s usually helpful. 
  • You don’t have to attach a gender description to items that you’re giving away. You can simply describe what you’re offering, for example “crib bedding with a blue and white whale print” or “pink and white bicycle with a step-thru frame” and let people choose for themselves whether they’d like to request your gift. 
These are some ideas to start us off, but please add your own tips and thoughts in the comments below. Is there something we can do as a community that will make Buy Nothing more accessible and welcoming to you?

Image description: field of colorful wildflowers. Image credit: Kristina Paukshtite from Pexels
Language Diversity Reminder for Groups Primarily Communicating in English
Our community primarily communicates in English, but we have many members who use other languages. Thanks for your understanding and patience with those who are translating from their own first language into English for their posts and comments here. Here are a few tips that you can put into practice to make our community more welcoming and accessible. If you have other ideas, please add them in a comment. 

  • Use clear, basic wording when you describe details of your Give, Ask and Gratitude to make your posts more understandable for people who have a different first language. For instance, sarcasm and slang don't always translate well if someone is using a service such as Google Translate to read and understand your posts. 
  • If you’re confused by another person’s posts or comments, ask for help understanding them.
  • If someone uses a language you’re not familiar with, give Google Translate a try - it’s not perfect, but it’s usually helpful. 
  • Remember that grammar and spelling don't need to be perfect for good things to happen here. If you focus on the meaning of people's posts and comments without calling attention to misspellings, etc, you'll be building what's most important: connections between yourself and your community. 
Image description - The word “welcome” translated into many languages and displayed in a multicolored word cloud. Image credit - Tumisu from Pixabay

This work is offered to the Buy Nothing world as a freely-given gift provided the details of the Creative Commons License are respected. This work was created by Liesl Clark and Rebecca Rockefeller of the Buy Nothing Project except where otherwise noted in the text and images. The above attribution and this link, www.buynothingproject.org must remain in all uses of this work. This work carries the following Creative Commons License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ that allows for non-derivative, non-commercial use with attribution. Please click the Creative Commons link to learn more about your legal responsibilities and permissions.