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 😉

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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

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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

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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.

5 Comments

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

5 Responses to Random correspondence (I am a copycat)

  1. Hi there. I feel your captcha pain. The reason it has to sound so bad is the same reason it used to look so bad. To prevent bots from cracking it. It sucks, but it’s the nature of the beast. If there is a firefox for Mac, try WebVisum. You don’t have to do nearly as much work as Solona.

  2. Let me dance a jig in thanks to you for knowing how to spell CAPTCHA. Most blinks can’t spell it to save their hides. Capsha? Capture? I cannot come up with enough inventive spellings. Thank you for showing those blinks a thing or two!

  3. R

    I’m definitely going to check with the Mac Visionaries about Firefox and this program. I never did figure out the SoloNa thing. I couldn’t get the screenshot right. They sent me another way of doing it, but I dropped the ball. I guess I should try it so they know for future Mac users. But I still resent even having to do anythng special. Oh well, need to get over that 😉

  4. R

    Blinks? Is that like sightie for the blind? Hehe!

    You can thank the folks at WebAim for teaching me how to spell captcha. I remember posting on the email list about the things and I think I spelled it captia or something. I’m glad I’m still spelling it right, couldn’t remember. Death to captcha!

  5. Yup. If we have pet names with those of us with functioning eyes, we’ve got a few for ourselves. Blinks, blindies, hmmm…can’t think of anymore. I for some reason thought blink sounded funny. And I filled out WebAIM’s survey this month and promoted it on our blog, so hopefully you got some hits. Somebody was smart and put the word out to Top Tech Tidbits. That’ll help immensely.

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