Ok boys and girls, story time. Have you ever noticed that when you sign up for hotmail, or yahoo, or payPpal, or pretty much everything anymore, thanks to the spammers, *curse you all*, you have to tell the website what letters and numbers are in that little picture box thingy? I understand why the measure is there. It’s there to increase security so automated piece of shit bots can’t sign up for a million accounts and then use them to proliferate the internet with message upon message about how to make my absent weener bigger, buy cheap pills and remortgage my absent house. Perfectly cool. But what they and you might not know is that my thing that makes the computer talk can’t read those picture thingies. It just says graphic whatever they’ve decided to call it. The same goes for every blind person’s thing that makes the computer talk. They just can’t interpret pictures without captions.
So what some companies have decided to do is beside the picture, they have a link that says I can’t see this picture, and then you get an audio representation of what’s in the picture. So a garbled voice says the numbers and letters you’re supposed to type and they even are nice enough to give us a spot on that page to put them in. If we’re not lucky enough to have that, some companies tell us a place to phone or tell us to email or ask for our phone number and phone us.
However, some companies don’t even acknowledge that we might have a problem with that fuzzy picture in the box, and one of them, unfortunately, is google. I’m lucky that Steve and Matt started this blog before this was in place, otherwise there might not be a vomit comet since blogger is run by google. Although that may make some people celebrate, that would make me sad.
Alright, story time is over, here comes the help part. The people at
Blind Access Journal are trying to change this. They have started a petition over at petition online. This will be running for a few months, and once he has enough names, he’s going to send them, with a cover letter, to Eric Schmidt, the CEO of google. I believe that this petition has a lot more weight than those stupid email petitions, because for one thing, it’s on an official petition website, and second, I know this guy exists and he is going to send this thing to a physical person who might do something.
There are a few ways you can help if you feel strongly enough about it. He is asking for help in drafting this cover letter, so contact him through his website if you have ideas. He is also going to post the letter as it is being written, so you might be able to help out more with its construction as it goes. Finally, you can sign the petition. If you’re worried about what is going to be said in the letter, you might not want to sign until you see it, so keep an eye on the Blind Access Journal website.
Just trying to use the power of the net to spread the word.