Archive for the ‘Web Access’ Category

Helen Keller Comic Book. Seriously.

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

The folks at Fred’s Head Companion led me to a new comic book series based on the life of Helen Keller. Well sort of!

Helen Killer, yes apparently this is true. From the site:

At the dawn of the 20th Century, twenty-one year old college student Helen Keller has a dark secret science has restored her lost senses and granted her unimaginable power. Will she use it to protect herself and her country. or will it destroy them both? Thoroughly researched, Helen Killer blends a full cast of historical characters with high octane super-spy action, examining the extraordinary spirit of one of the most inspiring individuals of the twentieth century. Written by Andrew Kreisberg who has written for such tv hits as “The Simpsons,” “Boston Legal” and “Eli Stone.” This is the first fully illustrated book by Matt Rice, a talented up and comer of whom big things are expected.

I haven’t read the comic so this is not a review.

My beef, is pretty simple.

The online version of this comic  book, which features a “super hero” who is blind, is inaccessible to screen readers. What seems to be Flash based cannot be read by the blind community

Did it ever occur to those involved in this project that blind people may want to read the story?

C’mon, the real Helen Keller wouldn’t be able to independently access this information in 2009. The technology is available, but it does no good when it’s not properly used.

Since those involved with this project found it so important to give Ms. Keller her two senses, I thought I would give my two  cents too!

How Are You Using Twitter!?

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

For quite some time now I have been reading and listening to various Tech blogs and podcasts talking about Twitter. The conversation seems to focus on how Twitter can be used for various purposes.

 

I decided to try it after listening to a SeroTalk podcast on social media. I think I have a way to go before I figure out how or if it would work for me. Am I just trying to be on the bandwagon? Maybe. I do get frustrated hearing about all of the new ways people are putting technology to work and feeling a little out of the loop often because of accessibility issues. Especially since I was once an early adopter.

 

The NY Times has an article titled "Twitter Is What You Make It." Among other things the author explains that it’s ok to use Twitter anyway you see fit. In fact, it’s even cool not to use it. I know this seems sort of obvious, but I’m sure I am not the only one who feels as though they are being left behind when it comes to tech.

 

Ahhh, who am I kidding, this post is really just a way to find more folks on Twitter. If you’re on, let me know. Follow my tweets (right now, not very frequent – it feels like I’m talking to myself).

 

http://www.twitter.com/tsreid

BC Update:Still no response…

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

I still have not heard anything from the folks at Blog Carnival regarding their use of a visual only CAPTCHA.

In addition to Lon who is hosting the Assistive Technology Blog Carnival, Penny from the Disabilities Carnival is aware of the issue and I hope will spread the word among other disability bloggers.

Below is this week’s email to Blog Carnival. I guess I will have to keep up a weekly email until BC decides to respond or make the form accessible.

You should be aware that this is the fourth time I am writing to you regarding the inaccessibility of your submission form. This form requires the user to complete a visual only CAPTCHA in order to complete the submission process.

As a computer user who is blind, I am unable to complete the process independently.

Others in the visually impaired and blind community have written to you requesting a change.  Most often, in cases of inaccessibility based on visual CAPTCHA’s, the issue is based simply on an inexperience and ignorance to the problem these graphic only tests cause people who are visually impaired and blind. However, the refusal to acknowledge is sending a much different message. Blog Carnival is essentially saying to the blind community that they are not wanted on this site and the inability to use it is not a concern.

The accommodations that can be made to allow independent  submissions are readily available and have been pointed out by myself and others.

You should be aware that individual blog carnival hosts have been contacted and are planning to remove their carnivals if BC does not respond to the request.

I will continue emailing and blogging on this subject until I hear from someone in the BC management. In addition, I will continue informing current BC customers about BC’s unwillingness to work with the blind community.

T.Reid

WebAnywhere – A screen reader on the go

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

I’m looking forward to reading more about this open source screen reader.

 

WebAnywhere runs on any machine regardless of what operating system it is running and regardless of what browsers are installed. This is its advantage over existing products like SA-to-Go.

 

Read more here…

Next-Generation CAPTCHA – Not Promising for the Blind

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

This article from Slashdot titled,  Next-Generation CAPTCHA Exploits the Semantic Gap  points out a new method for distinguishing between human and machine for the purposes of eliminating spam.

 

According to the article:

A user is asked to pass two tests: (1) click the geometric center of an image within a composite image, and (2) annotate an image using a word selected from a list.

 

Doesn’t sound very promising to me!