Category Archives: CAPTCHA

My New Home

Less than twenty-four hours ago I made the decision to pack up the Blogger blog and move it over here. Just about everyone else I know has done just that but I had been holding out hope that things would be ok and I could just stay put. That did not happen. At first, I thought the new interface was going to work, since I discovered the switch when I went to publish the post before this one. I always compose in Text Edit and paste, so you can imagine my surprise when I had the new interface.

At first I thought they really had kept accessibility in mind because posting was not a problem. I didn’t look at settings or anything though since a game was on. Last night I decided to check and make sure that CAPTCHA was not enabled on comments. I couldn’t access any settings and that was it, I was done.

So was born! I’m excited and I’ve had a lot of fun doing what I’ve done so far. I’m sure more changes will be made in the near future. Do you have any suggestions?

I would appreciate if you would leave a comment here since I’m not sure how those settings are just yet. I added a subscribe widget and I want to know if it makes you confirm your subscription by email. I also don’t know if it will be set to include part of the post in the emails you get. If so, I will be changing that since I can’t stand that when I subscribe to WordPress blogs. Comment moderation is enabled and there should not be a CAPTCHA but if there is, please let me know. You can also shoot me an email.

I thought I’d feel all sentimental leaving the old place but just like anything else in life, when it’s the right time, it just feels great! Please update your bookmarks and/or blog rolls and such and come with me in this new adventure in blogging!


Filed under accessibility, accomplishment, CAPTCHA

A writing opportunity I never expected

I never dreamed anything like this would ever happen when I thought about trying my hand at writing. Perhaps if I had, I would have majored in journalism instead of biology. I always enjoyed the writing aspect of school but never thought of it as anything more than a way to pass an honors psych class by handing in a ten page essay on identical twins which I wrote the night before it was due. When I took the online fiction writing course two years ago, I thought it would be fun to write a young adult novel. After being urged by so many readers, I thought I might write my story. I never, ever imagined writing about baseball.

Thanks to social networking however, it’s looking like I’ll be doing just that. I don’t want to reveal too many details until I know more. You know me and cliffhangers here at the Roof. Let’s just say my world was turned on end this morning by an e-mail and I’ve spent the day learning about the site I’ll be writing for.

It all started when I wrote about how the Rays are so much more than a baseball team. Since my blog links to Twitter, my fellow Rays fans saw the post and one thought it was so good, she tried to get all the Rays players on Twitter to read it haha!

Fast forward to Wednesday, the same friend forwarded a tweet to me about a Rays blog looking for writers. I read the post and decided, why not? I thought of a quick essay idea and wrote it up. I rushed it. I had no idea how fast something like that should be submitted. Thanks to JayNoi and that fiction course, I knew how important it is to stick to the word limit. I really didn’t know what kind of writing they were looking for though, so the whole experience turned rather nervous making as I sent it in.

This morning as I began my morning internet ritual with my coffee, I received an e-mail back from the blog. It was like the scene in “Independence Day”, when Will Smith gets the letter from NASA and he can’t bear to read it as he hands it to his friend. I skipped past the e-mail until my caffeine levels were more therapeutic.

Needless to say, they’d like me to write for the site. I simply can’t believe it. I’ve been in a daze all day, reading through the welcome packets and what not that were e-mailed to me, luckily in accessible pdf format. I also lost an epic battle with a CAPTCHA and nearly pulled my hair out before getting sighted assistance from Erik over chat. Good times, ha!

It has been a whirlwind of emotions from complete jubilance at the opportunity to write about this team that means so much to me, to a complete lack of confidence in my sports writing skills. It’s one thing to write about the Rays on my own blog, in the style I like, as goofy as I want to be. Do I have what it takes to write for someone else? Can I manage the correct formatting when I can’t see it? Can I figure out a new blog site?

I decided to come here to write, in a place where I’m at home, to share this with those of you who’ve been with me awhile or even those of you who are new here and like what you read. As soon as my first post is published there, I’ll be sure to link it here.

Even though this is my own blog, I’m suddenly self conscious of what I’ve written, haha! That’s a first. I’m mentally spent and just need some good sleep, methinks.

I’m sorry it’s been so long between posts. Hopefully this blog won’t be neglected for long stretches as I move in to this new venture.

Can I even write about the Rays here now? I’m not sure haha!!! Wish me luck, ok?


Filed under baseball, CAPTCHA, coffeeholic, gratitude, twitter me this, writing


Hahahaha oh I want one. Check out Carin’s post about dream CAPTCHAs. Hahahaha!

1 Comment

Filed under CAPTCHA, funnies, plugs, random stuff

These cheered me up this morning

I wanted to be sure to recognize two blog posts that helped to cheer me up this morning. The first one appeared on my reading list, and I couldn’t figure it out from the title. As I read Poppy the Puppy’s post, I had quite a few chuckles. I even managed not to get upset about the word verification and solved the CAPTCHA after 2 tries, which was a good thing haha!!

After I got caught up with my reading list, I went back to the screen readers singing Christmas songs over on Vomit Comet, and I got really teary and cried to the Christmas Canon. Make sure you listen to that one. It’s the prettiest I have ever heard screen readers sound. I was also emotional thinking of all the work Carin had put into the post, and really missing her emails and blog posts, since she’s visiting family. I suppose I miss Steve too, though he thinks I like Carin better 😉

As I was listening to the Christmas Canon, I just felt really grateful for screen readers. Since I’ve been using mine a year, I think I often take it for granted. And listening to them sing, made me realize just how much joy screen readers bring to me and my fellow blinks.

So I’ve enjoyed my day so far. After working out I listened to Harry Potter some more and then took a shower. Tomorrow my Dad is picking me up to go to Gamma’s. It’s the first time he’ll pick me up since I went blind, so that will be fun. B is meeting us after work. My friend Sarah framed a picture of me doing my solo, and wrapped it up, one each for my Grandma, Dad, Uncle and B. So that will be nice. I didn’t get cards. I forget that sort of thing these days. Out of sight, ut of mind. We’re just eating ham sandwiches, but I’m wearing my red dress hehe! Christmas day, B volunteered to work a 3 hour shift at a group home for his company, so to give a break to the people who normally work there, since group homes don’t take holidays. So we’ll open presents before he goes to work. He asked if I want him to wrap the presents, but I’m indifferent. Not much point, really lol! He has gotten me a few things, so I feel bad about only getting him one thing, but I think it’s a good thing. I had another idea today, but it’s too late now. Maybe I’ll order it anyway.

That’s it from me today. If I don’t blog again, have a happy and merry Christmas, whichever way you are celbrating, if you’re celbrating 🙂


Filed under Alex, CAPTCHA, family, Gamma, gratitude, holiday, misty eyes, plugs, screen reader

Doggy Diaries – Puppy raiser love

I left the window for a post up to remind me to post it because I thought it was the sweetest post. I’m jumping on now to just post a quick note about my continuing admiration of puppy raisers. I know I’ll get the best dog because of the love of these people.

First, here is a post about Holly’s birthday. It is such a touching post, and I think I read it before my last diaries post, which might just have inspired my little note to my future pup, without my even realizing it hehe.

*On a geek note, I also managed to finally solve a captcha to leave a comment on this blog, and I’m not even complaining about it. I suppose when it’s worth it, it doesn’t bother me so bad 😉

And the story of Cabana, and how she found her forever mom is just such a cool story. She started off being a puppy in training and decided she didn’t want that, so she changed her career and her raiser chose to keep her. The love that went in to this decision, the agonizing, makes me admire this woman oh so much, and really shows the kind of heart it takes to do this selfless volunteer job. This story ended in a great reward, and a new journey gets to begin; I can’t wait to watch!

So this was the post I had in mind the other day when I read about Holly, and I just kept forgetting to post it. As I write this, I’m very very sleepy and cold. We’ve definitely had winter hit here in the desert over the last few days, and the pressure change does weird things to me. I feel like I’ve been walking around in a daze for days. Hopefully soon I’ll return to normal, especially so I can organize guidelines for the doggy pool tomorrow, to start voting on Friday.

Thanks again puppy raisers!!! Handlers, have you dropped your raiser a quick hello lately?

Wow, just read through this and I said “post” a lot. Post post function function meep meep. Ok, there’s a little of myself back ha! 🙂


Filed under CAPTCHA, desert life, Doggy Diaries, guide dogs, plugs, proud geek, puppy raisers, spoons, weather

More Facebook – A human

I am breaking through my brain fog to paste some more. I got another reply from Facebook. I’m posting his reply and what I wrote back in response to his question, because I think it’s important that we advocate for ourselves and others, and I am very happy so far with what I’ve heard. I got a response back from an actual person, which is why I’m posting the whole email, because even though this is a public blog, hopefully he won’t mind rhe recognition, as I think he deserves it. So I had just replied with a snarky “guess I’m out of luck since I can’t use the main site” and here is how he responded, followed by my reply:


Thanks for your reply. If possible, could you provide more information on the problems you’re encountering with the main site? The more feedback you provide on your experience, the better equipped we will be to improve the site for you. We appreciate your help and apologize for the inconvenience you’ve incurred so far.


User Operations
Hi Chris,

Thank you for wanting to know more; that is a rarity. I can’t say exactly what it is about the main site other than it’s just too complicated. I use a screen reader, so trying to figure out where I am on the main site is a pain. It jumps all over the place, to adds and what not. And for some reason it always takes me to one friend’s profile. There are too many options, too much clutter.

The mobile site is perfect. Simple. All I have to scroll through are status updates and the news feed. There is just a comment and like link. It’s super simple.

going to the main site is too much of a headache. I’ve spoken to other screen reader users about the sudden captcha and almost all of them use the mobile site as well. One mentioned the lite site, but that one was too complicated too.

It just really bothers me that when I signed up and did the text message, it told me I would never have a captcha again, and now I’m getting them. It only seems to happen with some links on my status.

Also, suddenly there are several friends who’s updates do not appear on my page, and I never did a hide thing, since those links aren’t on the mobile site. I’ve also got a group invitation that sounded hackish so I’ve tried to reject it, and it won’t go away. That has happened since the captcha deal.

The audio captcha really isn’t a solution, as a lot of times, they aren’t clear, and my cursor doesn’t end up in the box, so my reader talks on top of the audio. I’ve also got a friend who’s blind and deaf. She’s disturbed about the captchas as well, but can tolerate the main site.

So sorry for the book, but you asked 😉 Again, thank you very very much for responding.

I will keep updating on this.


Filed under accessibility, advocacy, CAPTCHA, letters, proud geek, screen reader, spoons

Heard from Facebook

Well, this is the last of the 30 in 30 posts thank goodness haha. I’m totally brain fogged and spooned out today, so I’m just gonna paste the email from FB. I had nother really cute post in mind today but just don’t have the energy.

Now I won’t have to post if I’m brain foggy and out of spoons 😉 Was fun writing a post a day, and probably will write close to that anyway, but not having to anymore will bea relief.

FB reply:

We appreciate your email. We provide an audio captcha alternative on the main site for any instance of a text captcha. This should allow you to post the link. Posting some links may require that you complete a captcha. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. Please let us know if you need any further assistance.


User Operations

He’s lucky I have no spoons. I just wrote back that I guess I’m out of luck then since I can’t use the mains ite. I can, but hate it. This fight is not over. I will keep on this when I have energy again.


Filed under accessibility, advocacy, CAPTCHA, letters, NaBloPoMo 2009, proud geek, spoons

Attack of the CAPTCHA

This is an email I actually sent to


Dear Facebook,

When I signed up for my account, I needed sighted assistance, as I am blind and use a screen reader. During sign up, I was told that if I replied to a text message and proved I was human, I would never ever get a CAPTCHA again. My friend helped me reply to the text message and I never received another CAPTCHA.

Until now.

I tried to update my status, and it is telling me to do a security check and solve the CAPTCHA. I tried logging off and back on. Same problem. I use, because your full site is not accessible to me, or I should say, incredibly difficult.

I promptly sent an email to my email list of other blind folks who Facebook, and they are experiencing the same problem. One of the members has some vision, but after 7 attempts, could not solve the CAPTCHA. She was however able to update her status on the main site. She is luckier than I.

This is not acceptable. Many blind and visually impaired folks use your mobile site to connect with friends and family. This problem needs to be resolved. An audio CAPTCHA isn’t even available, but still would not be a solution, as many of us can’t solve them anyway, and some of us are deaf as well as blind.

I hope I did not come across too rude. I made myself calm down before emailing you.


I am so angry right now.


Filed under accessibility, advocacy, CAPTCHA, letters, NaBloPoMo 2009, rant, screen reader

WebAIM screen reader survey results

I took this survey, as well as the one before it. Here are the most recent results.

apple users, we’re getting a little more recognition, primarily when it comes to cost. The survey showed that more experienced users are likely to try these cost effective alternatives. I wish I had been blogging, as I would have posted the link for the survey here. I will definitly keep the blog apprised of WebAIM info. I love them, and have learned so much from them, as far as web accessibility goes.

This survey takes awhile to read though, if you’re focusing on all the questions and responses, so I’d recommend having about twenty minutes of free time, which is why I couldn’t look at it yesterday 😉

I especially like the CAPTCHA results, and they mention that these can be made accessible, as well as flash. Most of the blame is being put on developers, and not screen readers.


I just realized this survey was done in October, and I had the blog then. Why didn’t I link to it? Hmmm. Slacker.


Filed under accessibility, advocacy, assistive technologies, CAPTCHA, NaBloPoMo 2009, plugs, proud geek, screen reader, silly girl, Voiceover

Ideas for blogger but impossible to contact

I know I have the option of writing my own html on here. But its been years since I’ve done that, and not everyone can do that. So yesterday I was taking a closer look at the things blogger offers to make things esier, and there are some things I so wish I could do, but blogger doesn’t offer.

I had a sighted friend look at my blog while we were chatting, and I wanted to make sure that all the labels aren’t in one long list. With a screen reader, its kinda hard to tell. Voiceover makes certain noises for new lines, so I really should have paid attention to that. Luckily, my friend informed me that all the labels are in a big block, so at least visually, it doesn’t make the blog really long.

But the thing with a screen reader is, it reads everything it encounters. So to get past all the labels, I have to go through every single one. The blog isn’t laid out nicely with headers. In some cases I can skip by using the headers to navigate, like skipping past the blog to get to the comments. But I can’t use headers to skip past the labels or the blog archive.

So I want a drop down menu for my labels. How much tidier that would be. Say you want all the Doggy Diaries post. You’d scroll down, open the drop down menu, select Doggie Diaries, and the page would reload with just those posts, just like it does by clicking the label. But it would eliminate the huge body of text with all the labels. Same with the blog archive. I’ve seen a blog archive drop down menu on another blog, but I have no idea how she achieved this.

Also, I’ve realized that some of my labels are incredibly redundant. So I want to delete a few, and rename some. Oh blogger, why couldn’t you allow us to edit the actual labels, rather than going through every damn post? How easy that would be. On the dashboard, have an area to edit labels. Each label would appear in an edit text box. You could have the option of renaming the label, or deleting it, and it would change all blogs associated with that label.

I tried to find out how to contact blogger, but as with every other google service, you have to post in a forum. I don’t want to post in a forum. I don’t care what answers I might get from other bloggers when it comes to this sort of thing. Not to mention it takes a CAPTCHA to post. I want to write directly to the blogger team. But there’s no email address or contact form, that I could find.

Oh, another good idea might be to include a labeling tutorial in the getting started section. When I first started, I didn’t get the point. It wasn’t until I started reading other blogs that it made sense.

And maybe have a disclamer in the security area that says, “if you select CAPTCHA security, you might exclude certain people from commenting”.

Another thing. On my Dashboard, it lists all the blogs I’m following, before my reading list. I can’t navigate by header to get to new blog posts, so I have to scroll past all the blogs I’m following. I know what blogs I’m following. I want to just get to new posts. Why not have the blogs I’m following in a drop down menu? Or have a link to “hide all” just like with labels when making a new post?

And, why not link the google reader to the reading list all in one place, so that non-blogger blogs can also be seen in my new post update, all in the same place? I know, I know, just get an RSS feeder, but why? I want it all on the same page, on my dashboard, so I can read all my updates, and post in the same place.

Does anyone know how to directly contact the blogger people?


Filed under accessibility, CAPTCHA, NaBloPoMo 2009, proud geek, rant, screen reader, Voiceover