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Visual Verification At Libsyn

January 22, 2006 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

After discovering an inaccessible implementation of visual verification at Libsyn, I wrote the following letter to asking for the implementation of an accessible alternative. At this time, the inaccessible visual verification means that blind and visually impaired users are not allowed to fully participate in Libsyn hosted podcasts as we are not permitted to post comments. Accessible alternatives to visual verification do exist now. There are also other techniques, such as comment moderation, that could protect against spammers in this context. Let’s all write a note to Libsyn asking them to take prompt action to include us. We’re talking about podcasting here, which is an audio media to which we should inherently be granted full access. Let’s urge a major player on the podcasting scene to do the right thing.

Dear Libsyn Support,

I am a blind podcast listener. While looking at the shownotes for one of my favorite podcasts hosted by your company, I noticed that I am not currently permitted to post comments to the associated blog due to the implementation of visual verification without an accessible alternative. Please consider implementing an accessible alternative. The current state of the art is audio playback of the characters to be entered, but more innovative solutions, such as answering a challenge question or perhaps e-mail verification of some kind, would allow even greater access while still protecting your security.

Please don’t continue locking out a significant number of podcast listeners. I urge you to promptly provide an accessible alternative to your visual verification scheme. The blind community would stand ready to assist with the implementation and testing of a workable solution. I look forward to your company’s prompt, positive response to this matter.

All the best,

Darrell Shandrow

Categories: Uncategorized

PRWeb Assures Us All Important Services Remain Accessible Despite New Visual Verification

January 21, 2006 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

In response to my support ticket on the implementation of inaccessible visual verification, a PRWeb representative has provided assurance that their visual verification scheme only applies to the ability to forward press releases and tell a friend about the company. We remain able to access all important areas of PRWeb at this time. Now that the visual verification issue has been brought to light and useful responses received from the company, we hope PRWeb will remain otherwise accessible and provide an accessible alternative to their visual verification in the two areas of their site where it is currently implemented.

In reference to additional areas that you may be locked out of. We’ve implemented a host of new features and a new graphics. I do not have access to all of my notes from home, but I believe that there is also the “Tell a friend” page. Another trivial page that actually hasn’t worked in years until we implemented this new system. It simply allows a user to send 5 friends an email, recommending PRWeb.

As to creating accounts we recently implemented an email verification system which I believe you will not have difficulties with. Other recent changes to the members area of the site have been focused on visual enhancements such as a new color scheme and additional graphics. There have also been a few grammar and spelling corrections. I do not believe you will find anything that will prevent you from the core purpose of the PRWeb platform.

Categories: Uncategorized

Karen’s Awards Banquet and Google Word Verification Accessibility Petition Update

January 19, 2006 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker


Congratulations go to Karen for her five years of distinguished service in the hospitality industry. It is nice to see traits like longevity and loyalty being highly valued. The awards banquet was fabulous!

The Google Word Verification Accessibility Petition is an excellent way for the blind community to get involved in some constructive accessibility advocacy that can make a difference. Please submit your promos, suggestions and all other feedback to editor (at) When promoting the petition, it may be easier to use the domain name as an effective shortcut.

Download and Listen

Categories: Uncategorized