TypeKey is an authentication service for blogs and other similar web based services. As is the case with most Internet resources these days, the service requires the passing of an inaccessible visual verification test in order to be able to participate. After doing some research on their web site, I was able to request assistance with the registration process to get signed up with an account. Check out the correspondence below and feel free to provide feedback.

Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2005 7:53 PM

To: TypeKey Authentication Service

Subject: TypeKey Registration Problem

name: Darrell Shandrow

comments: Your inaccessible visual verification scheme
prohibits me from signing up as a blind person.
Please help me create an account and do something about the
inaccessibility of the visual verification as it currently
does harm to blind people in its current, visual only, form.
I look forward to a prompt response; while sighted people are
allowed instant registration, I must wait days simply because
I am physically unable to see.

The following positive response offering assistance was received approximately 16 hours after my initial request.

Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2005 12:11 PM

Subject: RE: TypeKey Registration Problem

Hi Darrell,

I will be happy to set up an account for you, if you will provide me
with the following information for the account setup:

  • Login Name
  • Password
  • Email Address
  • Public Name

Please note that my manual registration will complete only step one of
the process. You will still need to confirm the registration yourself
using the link which will be sent out via email to the address you

By providing the information to me and confirming the registration you
are agreeing to the TypeKey Terms of Service (
https://www.typekey.com/tos/ ).

Thank you,


Six Apart Technical Services

At 9:30 PM on September 22, I responded with the desired account information.

I received the following confirmation of account creation 14 and a half hours later.

Sent: Friday, September 23, 2005 1:50 PM

Subject: RE: TypeKey Registration Problem

Hi, Darrell! I’ve created your account for you, so once you confirm
your e-mail address you should be all set. Please let us know if you need anything else.

Have a nice weekend!

Kindest Regards,


Technical Services

Six Apart, Ltd.

After completing the rest of the process, which was accessible, I confirmed that I was, in fact, able to activate and access my new account. This unnecessarily manual and time consuming process prompted me to write the following message in response to Kimberly.

Sent: Friday, September 23, 2005 8:06 PM

To: TypeKey Authentication Service

Subject: Re: TypeKey Registration Problem

Hi Kimberlie,

Though I most certainly appreciate your assistance, please forward to
your management that the blind community does not consider the current
arrangement to be ultimately acceptable from an accessibility point of
At a minimum, there should be a link during the account creation process
giving information on what to do if you’re blind. Better, there ought
to be an audio version of this code available.

I received this response from Laura in appreciation for my feedback and sincerely hope it will lead to positive changes and correct action on this company’s part with respect to people whom happen to be blind or visually impaired.

Hi Darrell,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. We appreciate knowing how we
can make our services more accessible and work better for our customers
and we value your feedback for future enhancements to the TypeKey

Please let us know if you need any further assistance.



Six Apart Technical Services

Though the account was ultimately created and the assistance from the technical support staff was appreciated, the point remains that a process that requires five minutes or less for a sighted person to complete was artificially turned into a 31 hour process for me simply due to the presence of a verification test that allows passage only for human beings whom happen to possess the physical ability to use their eyes. I will be writing one more note to the TypeKey folks pointing to this article and asking that they keep me updated as to their progress on making their visual verification scheme accessible.