Archive for the ‘Web Accessibility’ 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. 🙂

Update on Google accessibility Petition

Sunday, February 5, 2006

Hello again.

At this writing, there are 3184 names on the Google Word Verification Accessibility Petition! Many thanks to all who have shown their support! Watch here for news, on a story that will be presented on Internet News, to follow up on their story from last July, wherein someone at Google promised accessibility to the CAPTCHA graphics as of two months from then.

P.S., Darrell’s blog Blind Access Journal, was finally unlocked on Monday afternoon, some 24+ hours after his initial request. Would most sighted people be satisfied, were they in a similar situation? On one hand, Google’s service is provided free of charge, so I suppose one could say, “you get what you pay for,” but on the other hand, they are providing it to the general public, as a service, from which they profit by displaying advertisements. Though the blind population is relatively small overall, we are still a chunk of the consumer-base. Plus, blind people would probably be more apt to take companies up on their products, offered online, as opposed to, say, a big colorful ad in a printed magazine, unless someone else mentions it to the blind person.

Well, just my own two cents for the day, anyway.

PLEASE SIGN PETITION: Google Word Verification Accessibility!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Just a reminder to please sign the petition, authored by Darrell Shandrow, of The Blind Access Journal, to encourage Google to create an accessible alternative to CAPTCHA. Screen reading programs for the blind and visually impaired, cannot decipher the graphical text, preventing blind computer users from independently accessing various services. In particular, Google requires graphical word verification for such services as GMail, Blogger, and others. For instance, a blind friend of mine is currently unable to post to his own blog! To remove the spam flag attached to his blog by Google’s software, he would need to, … Yes, can you believe it? … type in the characters in a CAPTCHA graphic!! So, he cannot even directly submit a request to have the spam flag removed! He has written to Google’s tech support yesterday morning, and still has not received a response from them. How long must he wait for access to the blog that he created???

So, show your support, and head on over to: and please sign today! There are already over 2,750 names, of various people who are blind, as well as many sighted friends, colleagues, family members, and other concerned Internet users. So, jump on board, and please add your name to the ever-growing list!

Together, we will help accessibility happen!