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Visual Verification: CAPTCHA Accessibility and the Yahoo! Petition Discussed in Depth on Security Now Podcast

August 1, 2007 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

We thank Leo Laporte and Steve Gibson for reading an e-mail I sent them concerning the need for CAPTCHA accessibility on episode 102 of their Security Now! podcast and discussing it in depth. This show even has an excellent transcript that serves to meet the needs of the deaf or those who would just rather read instead of listen. This is exactly the kind of positive exposure we need to seek for the CAPTCHA accessibility issue on a much more frequent basis. Let’s all sign the Yahoo! Accessibility Improvement Petition and take all possible actions to spread the word as far and wide as possible!

5 opinions on “Visual Verification: CAPTCHA Accessibility and the Yahoo! Petition Discussed in Depth on Security Now Podcast

  1. That’s awesome!

    Steve and Leo have discussed Screen Readers before in passing from an earlier show but it wasn’t on this topic. I’m a few episodes behind this one. So I have something to look forward to as I slog through my casts over the next week or so.

    I am a big fan of Security Now, Windows Weekly and most of the other TWIT podcasts. I highly recommend them to all if they want to keep up on the hot topics of tech.

    If you want even more techy views try the Cranky Geeks site or dl.tv as they too have the old Tech TV and Screensavers feel. If you want your news a bit lighter try Buzz Out Loud at CNET.

    http://www.bol.cnet.com

  2. And of course, what analogy did you use? The one I gave you credit for saying you would no longer use, the woefully inadequate, insulting and offensive African-American example. I hate to tell you this, but Martin Luther King Jr. did not give his life that all may access Yahoo.

  3. Bruce,

    I think that’s an issue of timing. The letter to Leo Laporte and Steve Gibson was written at least a week and a half ago now! In any case, I’m not quite so sure the approach doesn’t have its merits in some cases. Despite a relatively small number of people who have taken offense to my using the analogy, I have heard from even more who have said they feel it is an appropriate description of the type of exclusion presented by CAPTCHA and multi-factor authentication when it does not accomodate our needs.

    I have noticed that you have taken some of your valuable time and energy to read this blog and frequently post opposing comments. That is certainly within your right. I would ask, however, that especially blind people take that energy and spend it on more constructive pursuits, such as advocating for better accessibility. If you don’t think CAPTCHA is important, then focus that energy on something else that is constructive, rather than on being destructive!

  4. I’m sorry you do not approve of my honest, common-sense approach to accessibility. However, I believe that amid the flury of offensive analogies and useless ptetitions, the voice of common sense needs to be heard as well. I believe what I am doing to be constructive, and I believe it is necessary.

  5. Bruce,

    I hate to do this, but…

    What have you done significantly to improve accessibility and what have been the results? You have spent a lot of time and energy working against me, but I just don’t see how that’s going to make things any better. I think I’m pretty well connected with my online blind brothers and sisters, and I just really haven’t heard of anything useful you have done. Oh, please, do feel free to straighten the record.

    If you can’t or don’t want to do anything constructive, please, just leave alone those of us who are trying to do something…

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