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Visual Verification: Do Not Call Register failing blind

May 6, 2007 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

The Australian is reporting that the web site for the Australian equivalent
of the Do Not Call registry is inaccessible to the blind and visually
impaired as it requires passing a CAPTCHA. As we all know, this represents
no less than a "no blind people allowed" sign locking us out.

The Australian
Saturday, May 05, 2007

Do Not Call Register failing blind

By Simon Canning, Marketing writer

HUNDREDS of thousands of blind and vision-impaired people have been unable
to sign on to the Government's new Do Not Call register as questions
continue to arise about the decision to rush the system into action.

Call centre operators yesterday continued their criticism of the move,
saying the system could cost up to 30,000 jobs.

Human rights and disability discrimination commissioner Graeme Innes said
the failure of the Do Not Call website to allow vision-impaired people to
list their numbers was in breach of the Disability Discrimination Act.

Communications Minister Helen Coonan launched the register on Thursday, but
minutes after its unveiling, the computerised system had gone into meltdown,
unable to cope with thousands of people wanting to block phone marketers.

Mr Innes said the website for the federal Government's $33million register
contained features designed to stop fraudulent registrations. These required
people to copy a series of letters and numbers that had been altered to make
them impossible for hacking programs to read. But these could not be
accessed by the blind.

"We would expect that any Commonwealth Government website would comply with
access requirements," Mr Innes said. "It's been the law for several years."

The Do Not Call registration system was expected to handle 700,000
registrations an hour, but 36 hours after its launch had processed only
250,000.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21674764-2702,00.html

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