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Visual Verification: I Ask Todd Cochrane to Intercede with GoDaddy to Allow the Blind to Conduct Business

December 17, 2005 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

Dear Todd,

Merry Christmas to you, your family and all Geek News Central Listeners from Darrell Shandrow of the Blind Access Journal blog and podcast. I just finished listening to your Dec. 13 episode of your podcast, where you mention your willingness to work with your sponsors, such as GoDaddy, to get critical issues resolved. I hope you can help myself and thousands of other blind customers and potential customers of GoDaddy.

As you and others have been advertising, GoDaddy offers an absolutely astounding web hosting deal that is especially suited to our bandwidth needs as podcasters. Unfortunately, at the end of the order I placed with GoDaddy, I was presented with a visual verification requirement without any alternative for blind customers. Upon placing a call to GoDaddy’s sales team, Chris promised a call back from a supervisor the following day to work on addressing the issue. This call back never came and I am continuing with my current web hosting provider at this time.

Please, please, please, close your eyes and imagine how you would feel if you were unnecessarily barred from doing business, then make use of your contacts at GoDaddy to start the process of getting this issue positively resolved. Visual verification tests (what Bob Parsons calls the human verifier) lock out the blind from participation and the ability to do business when no reasonable accessible alternatives are provided. An example of an accessible alternative
would be audio playback of the code to be entered in order to pass the test. Blind people are humans just like the sighted. It is thus absolutely critical that any “human verifier” be able to recognize all human beings, regardless of the presence or absence of eye sight.

We in the blind community are looking forward to great things with respect to your ability to work with your sponsor to get this critical matter resolved. Thanks as always for a great show. I am a loyal subscriber who listens to every episode.

All the best,

Darrell Shandrow

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