Archive for the ‘Assistive Tech Links’ Category

Inaccessible CAPTCHA on registration!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Wow, it’s been almost a year since the widely-known, leading-edge powerhouse of a company, Google, finally developped a long-awaited audio CAPTCHA alternative, and there are still many inaccessible purely graphical CAPTCHAs out there!

Case in point is the increasingly-popular social bookmarking site

This is indeed unfortunate, since I, as a blind computer user, would like to make use of their website, and to enjoy its features like anyone else who has access to it.

I should not have to rely on a sighted person to complete that final step in their registration process. After all, it isn’t like I can pull a pair of eyes out of my pocket. I don’t always have access to the help of a sighted person, and even for someone who readily does, it’s not always convenient for the sighted person, either. We shouldn’t expect someone to immediately drop what they’re doing, just so they can come over and decipher a graphic image for us.

If Google, Microsoft, and many other websites can make their CAPTCHA accessible, it’s my hope that one day in the future, accessible alternatives to graphical image CAPTCHA will be adopted and readily implemented by ALL web designers, instead of each and every one of these purely visually-based CAPTCHAs being an ongoing barrier to those of us who are blind or visually impaired, having to be called to the attention of specific knowledgeable and forward-thinking employees of otherwise retroactively-minded companies, one by one, by one, by one, by one, by one, by one, by one, and the next, and the next, and the next, and the next, and on and on and on it goes.

If you’ve read to the end of this mini-rant about the electronic barriers created through the implementation of inaccessible CAPTCHA images having no alternate tests, I thank you very kindly in advance, for your willingness and help in spreading the word about why this particular situation needs to change, specifically with, and with all other CAPTCHA implementations around the Internet whose sole means of access is through the visual pathway, presuming that it is ALWAYS intact within the human brain.

To me, it seems that there are myriad other ways, other than testing my ability to visually read the graphical image on a computer screen, in order to figure out that I am actually a nice and gentle computer-friendly human being, instead of an incredibly annoying and resource hogging spam-flinging computer program robot thing!

Okay, I’ll now return you back to your regularly scheduled Internet activities. 🙂