Category Archives: CAPTCHA

Only 2 new blogs??

Bummer.

Only 2 new blogs on the reading list. Luckily one was from a puppy raiser and it was a cute one. The puppy is 6 months old today so the raiser wrote 6 new things. Absolutely adorable was, the puppy likes to walk around with socks. Not chew on them, but parade with them, something they are trying to fix. I know, I know, its not ok for guide dogs to carry socks, but oh how cute! I knew a dog once that always had to have something in her mouth when she walked around. She’d be on the couch, chillin, and the second she was gonna walk somewhere, she had to find something to hold in her mouth. Is this a dog’s version of a binky? It could be anything though, bone, tv remote, sock, kid’s toy, magazine, book, whatever she could find. As soon as she sat down again, the object was discarded. Fear of walking?

The other blog is a blog I subscribed to when I was new to blogger. Some of the stuff is interesting, but for the most part, its all about inaccessible stuff. She’s not really complaining or anything, mostly her blog is to teach people about blind who aren’t blind. She talks about how appliances today are all digital and stuff like that.

She signs off saying something about her being an accessibility advocate.

But.

I can’t comment on her blog, because she has a CAPTCHA. Figure that one out?

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Filed under accessibility, CAPTCHA, dogs, NaBloPoMo 2009, puppy raisers, random stuff

I’ll try not to rant

*I re-read this just now and I apologize in advance for my tone. I’m not in the best of moods. But I’ve learned in therapy that its not healthy to stuff feelings, so I’m gonna go ahead and post.*

Apparently blind bloggers aren’t good enough for National Blog Month.

Oh well. I’m doing the 30 in 30 because its fun, though it would have really been nice to sign up for the thing.

I heard about this on L^2’s blog. I tend to copy some of what she does tee hee.

So I thought, well hmm, I practically blog daily anyway. Might as well do 30 blogs in 30 days. Figured it would be pretty easy. But I’m actually finding myself not wanting to blog today. I’m just in a bit of a funk. I’m still in brain fog mode, though not as bad. I’m a little fatigued, and my throat keeps having days where it aches, which freaks me out because I really don’t want that stupid swine flu.

I asked on Facebook, how do you know if its swine flu? One girl said, “you puke up bacon bits” and another said “when you have a fever, it smells like bacon frying”. I suppose since there’s really no way to tell the difference, its better to be funny about it.

All my thoughts are jumbled up in my head. I really wish I had a Doggy Diaries update. But I don’t. I emailed admissions last week to find out if there’s any footwork on my part, and I haven’t heard anything. I sent out a question to the email list, so we’ll see what they suggest.

I got an email from Dave, and he’ll be out of town the next 2 Fridays. Which means a setback in O & M lessons. This is really disappointing because I’m really hustling to get in the last few things so I can hopefully go to school in January or February. Missing 2 weeks of O & M is not good. He said he’ll let me know if he has any cancellations.

Lets see, any more complaining before I get to fun stuff? Oh I don’t think I even explained why I can’t sign up for that blog thing, did I? I don’t feel like reviewing what I wrote. Anyway, there’s a CAPTCHA. And no audible CAPTCHA. So screw em. I won’t sign up for your stupid blog awareness month. I will not rant on CAPTCHAs I will not rant on CAPTCHAs. I’ve done enough of that. If you’ve read my blog, you’ll know how I feel. If you haven’t, click the CAPTCHA label.

My workout went well today. I’m not gonna go into details, but it went well. Just slowly increasing reps now. Good stuff.

I was in a great mood until I found out about O & M lessons being cancelled, and until the stupid CAPTCHA pissed me off.

Oh one thing I am going to start, is using Facebook to spread the word about idiot behaviors surrounding guide dogs. I read a blog about a holy terror dog at Wal-Mart being dressed up as a guide dog, or else was a real one with absolutely no manners. Either way. I posted on Facebook that dressing up a non service dog as a guide dog for Halloween is not a good idea. My friends didn’t understand why until I explained. Its not that they’re stupid, they just really didn’t know. So I thought, what better means of spreading awareness than social networking sites? So I posted another update today about why you should ask before you pet a guide dog. And now FB keeps not loading. So I can’t access my responses.

Talking about FB leads me to another complaint. I’m just full of em today eh? I really wish that when sending friend requests, people said something in that optional message. Like, “Hi this is Sally and I met you on the street corner 2 years ago.” Just something simple. Let me know who you are. I don’t add people unless I know how they know me. Isn’t that just a little FB etiquette?

I’m not adding people from the blog on FB. I’ve thought about that, about what I’d do if someone asked to add me, and I’ve decided to keep my blog and FB separate. The blog is highly public, and FB is very private. So I’m not gonna mix the two worlds.

But to anyone thinking about sending a friend request to someone, say you’ve met them through an email list, do them a favor and tell them how you know them. I just think its polite.

Seriously, why the heck am I in such a complaining mood? Wow. Hmm, you know, I haven’t had any lunch and its after 2pm. I bet thats got a LOT to do with it.

I’m going to be posting from my cats this month. I keep wanting to do it again, but haven’t. It was such fun when I wrote the Kitty Tales before, so I think I’ll keep doing it. The kids have given me some fun material to write about. Maybe I should have done that rather than just be a pissy whining snit in this blog 😉

I will try and make my posts more cheery for the rest of this little project.

Ok this is funny. I just played back my message before going in to edit, and where I write “reps” with regards to my work outs, my screenreader says “representatives”. I’ve noticed that happen with some other words, like my friend’s friend Jan. See right there its going to say January because I ended a sentance with Jan and so there was a period. If Jan is in the middle of a sentance, it says Jan but if its at the end it says January. I don’t know why this stuff amuses me. I think its because I know I didn’t type “representatives” or “January”.

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Filed under CAPTCHA, cats, guide dogs, NaBloPoMo 2009, Orientation and Mobility, plugs, pooch preparation, quirky words, random stuff, rant, screen reader, workouts

Across the waters

I love this blogging thing. I have met some really amazing people and one of those people is a man in Malaysia. I read his entire blog over the weekend and was so inspired. Like me, he lost his sight as an adult, and I could so relate to all his experiences.

I have to admit, that my rants about word verifications were in part because I wanted so badly to connect with this man, but couldn’t because of the CAPTCHA on blogger. Luckily, I was able to email him, and he graciously has switched to comment moderation, so that we can communicate on our blogs. His story is truly inspirational, so if you’re so incline, check out:
http://myblindsight.blogspot.com/

When I first went blind, no one understood. I know I’ve shared this in past posts, so I’m not going to go into it again, but man, it so incredibly important for us all to be able to support one another, and the fact that we can do it across miles and oceans because of this gift called the net, is so amazing.

Can you imagine if this had happened back in the day with no internet? I shudder to think…

Anyway, I just wanted to promote my new friend’s blog, like he did mine.

Enjoy!!

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Filed under accessibility, Adjustment to blindness, CAPTCHA, fellowship, gratitude, plugs

Random correspondence (I am a copycat)

I saw this way of blowing off steam on another blog, and I loved it, so I’m copying it. Hope she doesn’t mind 😉

****

Dear Blogger,

For the most part I am able to use your blog, and I am very grateful for that. However, there are simple things you could do to make life a little easier for screen reader users. You see, I start at the top of a page and scroll down, encountering every ltitle link I have to run across. I can navigate by headers, and when reading a blog, this works really well. I only wish it worked in the Dashboard a little better. Also, when I want to get to my dashboard either from viewing my blog or anothers, I have to interact with your table at the top of the screen to find the link back to the dashboard, which doesn’t even say Dashboard, it says Blogger Home. This is fine now, but it was confusing when I first started using Blogger. Just these little changes would make such a big difference, and I am sure there are more suggestions I am spacing on right now. Why can’t Google employ a few testers, or talk to the folks at webaim.org? I also would like to address your stupid CAPTCHA’s, but I will include my letter to the CAPTCHA people for your reference. Oh, except to say, that since I had a google account, I started this blog just fine. Now that I want to add another, you throw in a word verification. Whats the deal? Why do you want that with a second blog, when I am already logged in, you know who I am, and you know I am human? Not fair.

A somewhat happy screen reader user,

R

****

Dear CAPTCHA designers,

Seriously. Have YOU tried using your stupid word verifications? I used to hate these things when I could see, but holy cow, have YOU tried listening to your supposed accessible ones? I’m sorry, I shouldn’t lump you all together, because some CAPTCHA’s are accessible. I should have sent this specifically to Blogger developers and Twitter to name a few with crazy ones. Actually I think I heard that Twitter did something about it, but I haven’t checked.

Anyway, why must it sound like a record being played backwards with a really angry man shouting out unintelligable numbers? Oh, you should check out the one that mlb.com uses on their Allstar voting page. Its awesome. You click the link and a clear female voice reads the numbers, AND my cursor ends up in the right place to type the numbers. Part of the problem with the horrible ones is that you click the listen link, and the cursor doesn’t end up in the text edit box, so your screen reader talks over the garbling whie you’re trying to find the box.

And don’t tell me “well there are services you can use to interpret CAPTCHAs”. That is not a fix. So I want to leave a comment on a blog, and before I type the comment, I have to take a screenshot of the CAPTCHA and send it to a sighted person for interpretation. By the time I’ve done this, I’ve lost what I want to say, and its not so easy to do anyway. So no, I am sorry, that is not a fix. I just won’t leave comments or use a service with a CAPTCHA I can’t solve for myself. The whole point of everything I am doing is to be as independent as possible. I rely on the sighted to drive. And thats really all I’m willing to rely on them for, thanks.

Sincerely,

i.hate.capthcas

****

Dear Apple Inc.,

This is the only nice letter I can think of right now. I love you. You include your screen reader, magnification and braille output software free in all your operating systems. You made it possible for me to save my screen reader settings to a flashdrive, so that if I encounter another Apple, I can upload my settings. When you upgrade your OS, I do not have to upgrade my screen reader, because it is included. I wonder how much money that will save me for the rest of my life? Oh, and I don’t know about Jaws, but Voiceover was pretty simple to teach myself, and your website is outstanding. And don’t even get me started on iTunes and talking iPods and even an accessible touch screen phone. Wow!..

I just love you, Apple. You really take assistive technology to a whole new level, and you don’t charge us extra for it.

And the voice of Alex! He doesn’t even compare to Windows voices. Alex sounds as close to human as I have ever heard a synthesized voice sound.

I just had to say thank you and I love you and I have no complaints!

A very happy customer.

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Filed under accessibility, assistive technologies, CAPTCHA, letters, plugs, rant, screen reader, Voiceover

Continuing rant on CAPTCHAs

Should I shut up about these? Maybe. But no.

When I was in the market for a new cell phone, I wanted an accessible one. After going blind, I missed the internet and texting the most. I asked the women on my ACB email list about their phones. They almost all used a screenreader called Mobile Speak, which needs a compatible phone and a program installation. Being the quick fix kinda girl that I am, I found out about “off the shelf” phones that had some speaking features.

One of the women on the list all but reamed me when I talked about this phone. I will paraphrase here. She said something along the lines of, if I accept this phone because its off the shelf, and it will allow me to listen to my contacts list and maybe even text message. Then she said something like, if you accept this phone, you are telling them that blind people only need the bare minimum. She said, do you really want a phone that will only do a little, when a sighted person can do it all?

I live by her words today, not only because she’s right, but I admire her. She has her own business, and does not take no for an answer.

This is how I am feeling about word verifications. I feel excluded. Especially since I have run across these on other blind people’s blogs!!!!!! I feel like, maybe they don’t want comments. I think maybe I should let it drop. Maybe I should listen to all the people who tell me Jaws is the only good screen reader. Maybe Jaws can handle the stupid things on blogger. Well, I love my Apple. The main issue with these things is, I click on the “listen” link, and 95 percent of the time, my cursor doesn’t end up in the box where I must type the letters. Not only that, but if there are any distraction going on, I have to try and decipher numbers after garbled evil sounding talking. Why should I have to try and do this, listen a million times only to get frustrated and quit?

There is a service that will interpret the things if I take a screenshot of the image. But I still haven’t managed to make it work. My only other option is to wait for my sighted boyfriend. So, I find a blog, I like a post, I want to comment, I wait until evening and ask him to read the thing for me? No. Not freakin fair.

There are 2 sites where I have had success with their CAPTCHAs. mlb.com when I voted for the Allstars, and http://www.visionaware.org/blind_bloggers_blogs_by_people_who_are_blind_or_have_low_vision which is a list of blind bloggers, where I found the last 2 blogs with inaccessible CAPTCHAs.

I am on a web accessibility list from the web developers at webaim.org. We have had countless discussions about accessible CAPTCHAs and they have actually found some examples of some that work.

I am here to say that those on blogger do not. Maybe for some, but not for all. And I hate feeling freakin excluded, especially, especially, especially from other blind bloggers. I have to laugh that so far, minus one, all the sighted bloggers do not have these things…irony? The blind are supposed to be all discriminated against by the sighted. Yet, my puppy raiser friends sure don’t discriminate. In fact, I really have yet to feel discriminated against by anyone “out there”. It all seems to happen online. I find this interesting. And I’m all riled up. And I need to work through this resentment. THIS is why someday I hope for a career in web accessibility and advocacy.

Ok, I’m done. Really. Tomorrow I’ll write something light-hearted again. Hopefully. As for now, I’m done trying to find new blogs, at least until I’ve eaten something and can get over this dissappointment.

A BIG thanks to you bloggers without CAPTCHAs! *hugs*

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Filed under accessibility, advocacy, assistive technologies, CAPTCHA, Jaws, plugs, proud geek, puppy raisers, rant, screen reader

So frustrated with word verifications/CAPTCHAs

I just found another blog by another person who recently went blind. He was talking about playing blind golf, and it was a really inspiring post. I can’t comment though, because there’s a word verification, or CAPTCHA.

I despise these things more than just about any accessibility issues I run into online. Some of them are actually accessible, but this one on blogger is not. Not for me anyway. I just can’t make out the numbers.

It bothers me to no end when I can’t access something because of these things. It might sound silly, but its an independence thing for me, something I can’t achieve online. There is a service that will interpret these things for you, if you take a screenshot of the image. But I haven’t figured it out yet.

I’m just really bummed, because I like finding other people who have lost their vision, and having a word verification stop me really bothers me.

Thats my rant. I’ve encountered these stupid things twice today. Grrr.

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Filed under accessibility, CAPTCHA, rant, screen reader

I thought my friend was a guide dog puppy

My screen reader reads everything it encounters starting from the top of the page and moving from left to right. So when I check my reading list, it reads the subject of the new blog and then the poster.

Today I heard “I have a coat”. And I thought, oh cute, new guide dog puppy just got his coat! Until I scrolled over and it was posted by my human friend. Hmmm, ok. So I go and read the post and try to comment, but there’s a stupid CAPTCHA. I hate those. Most of them are not accessible, even when you click the listen link. So I can’t comment and tell her I thought she was a guide dog puppy.

So I decided to write a blog about it, and hope she reads and changes her settings. 😉

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Filed under CAPTCHA, guide dogs, screen reader