Last year, Pew Research Center reported that 15 percent of American adults have used online dating sites or mobile apps.
And in some ways, online dating levels the playing field for people with disabilities. Say on Ok Cupid — everyone is reading that same profile.” But that doesn’t mean it’s popular — or even easy — to date online while blind.
She can distinguish lights from darks, and her seeing-eye dog helps her navigate the world. For Jolliff, such dating platforms are largely incompatible with Voiceover, a screen reading software she uses on her i Phone.
Yet her dog can’t help her swipe right or left on Tinder. They’re also completely image-based, she says, meaning they don’t reflect how she experiences life.
“When you’re at a bar, as a blind woman, you’re not making the eye contact and catching the guy across the room,” Jolliff says. Both Tinder and Coffee Meets Bagel, two popular dating apps, have done little to accommodate the blind or visually impaired community.
Tinder’s vice president of global communications branding, Rosette Pambakian, declined to comment for this article, saying she didn’t think it “makes sense” to include Tinder in a story about visually impaired daters.
In her e Harmony and Ok Cupid profiles, Tiffany Jolliff notes that she obsessively listens to the “Hamilton” soundtrack, loves karaoke and can make almost anyone laugh.
But Jolliff leaves out one detail that is part of her daily life: She’s blind.
“We can’t tell you whether you will be more successful at versus Dating4Disabled.
When someone picks an unfamiliar restaurant, Jolliff will research the restaurant’s location and the surrounding area.