Last year, I asked friends and readers of this blog to sign a petition, asking Google to make their captchas (those little "type in the text you see into the box below) things), accessible to those of us who cannot read graphics. The campaign is generally centered around blindness, but makes good sense for all, including those who "don't see too good", those who cannot read, but use text reading software to navigate the web, those who have text browsers instead of graphic enabled ones and others I'm not aware of, or forgot about unintentionally. The problem, and reason these captchas need to be fixed, is that graphics of letters and numbers don't get represented in text, no matter how textual they seem to the person who uses them. That's because, no matter what we wish, screen readers, text browsers etc, can't discifer graphics. It's the same reason I don't always realize you've put up a really cute picture of fluffy on Facebook or your blog.
So, since screen readers can't read what graphics say without alternative text to tell them what the graphic is, it follows that captcha locks out blind and visually impaired people. There are solutions, such as audio captchas or simple tests which ask you relatively obvious questions. This year, the goal is to get
to make their captchas accessible.
sign the petition here
to help Yahoo! understand both that making their account creation, group subscription, Del.icio.us account creation, and other creation and subscription services accessible is important to many, and why it's important. I'm happy to answer questions about this, if you don't understand what I'm talking about.