Nickie Coby (puppybraille) wrote,
Nickie Coby

Thoughts on Google Accessible Search

For those who aren't aware, yesterday
released a product that is supposed to help those of us with visual impairments.

The product is called
Google Accessible Search
and it's received quite a lot of links and posts over the first day or so. If you're interested,
the official post from Google is here.

I don't want to seem like an ungrateful witch with a b, but I'm not sure quite how I feel about it. In some ways, this is a great idea. It is nice to know that you're not going to crash your screen reader by visiting a certain site, and I like the idea of ranking sites both on content/relavence and accessibility. But There may be some down sides.

First, I have always been able to carry out a search easily while using a screen reader and Google. Once I actually figured out how to use my computer, I found Google to be the most simple search engine to use. So this doesn't change much for me.

I'll admit that I haven't gotten to play much with the Accessible search yet, simply because my brain is fresh out of ideas to search for. So, I can't give any feedback yet. Maybe I'll be blown out of the water as far as the quality and I'll come back here gushing about how excited I am.

I also have to say that this site might be amazingly helpful for novice internet users with visual impairments. The novice might not want to get into so many sticky situations with their computer, so maybe this will be a good option for them.

But, I also
that it would be nice, not to mention useful and a lot more fair, to be able to actually use products like Google Talk, Gmail and Local. And it's not like that can't be done, either. I ran into an article a few months back on A List Apart, that shows how maps could be made accessible.
the article is here
it's quite technical, but I did see some examples that I could actually access.

I'll try to play with some of the search functionality and read up on the FAQ'S. Maybe, if I feel like it, I'll review it in greater detail at some point.

What would rock is if this got incorperated into the Google guidelines that determine page rank. That would start to send a message to site producers that accessibility is not an option.

What are your thoughts? Why not post your impressions? You can post a comment here if you don't want to make a post on your own blog. If you do post on your blog, I'd love to read it. Feel free to comment here and let me know!

Tags: technology related

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