Sign In Support Of The Blind’s Right To Access Printed Books…If You Can Get Past The CAPTCHA

Equal access to printed material for the blind is an issue that’s pretty close to our hearts for obvious reasons, so I’m happy to plug this petition. No matter how many times I hear something like this, I’m always baffled and saddened by corporations that don’t want to not only do the right thing as human beings, but also get their work into the hands of as many people as possible.

Side with the blind over obstructionist companies to secure a Treaty for the Blind that makes books accessible globally.
Less than 1% of printed works globally are accessible to the blind. This is because laws around the world bar printed material from being turned into formats useable by the blind and visually impaired, or for such material to be shared across borders.
That’s why 186 countries will soon convene in Morocco to finalize a Treaty that would empower the world’s nearly 300 million blind citizens with the same rights to read, learn, and earn that the sighted enjoy. However, huge and powerful corporations – many wholly unaffected by the proposed Treaty – are working to fatally weaken it or block its adoption.
Ask the President to compel US negotiators to fight for a strong Treaty that gives blind people equal access to books and doesn’t burden those who want to provide them. Please sign today!

Since May 23rd when the petition was created, it has received only 8,498 of the 100,000 signatures it needs to get a response from the White House. Why? Has it been poorly promoted? Does the world just not care that much about whether blind people get to read things or not? No, it’s not that. The problem has a lot more to do with the CAPTCHA you have to solve in order to put your name on it.

An online “We The People” White House petition seeking support for an international treaty to help the blind is nearly impossible for blind web users to sign due to the Captcha security requirement on the White House website.
Politico reported this week that the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has complained about the required use of a Captcha code that is required to register to sign the online petition, which has now received just 8,200 of the 100,000 signatures required for a White House response. For its part, the White House says its website is in compliance with US accessibility standards.

Yup. The very people who care the most about this can’t sign it unless they can crack the audio CAPTCHA which an NFB spokesperson described as incomprehensible, can get a friend to type it in for them or know about and can use one of the small number of CAPTCHA breaking services that exist.


If you can, do sign this. As with all petitions there’s absolutely no guarantee it’ll work, but as with all issues that affect our lives it’s important that we at least try.

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