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The Irony of Google’s Celebrating Louis Braille’s Birthday While Locking Out the Blind

January 4, 2006 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

Google is celebrating the birthday of Louis Braille by providing this Louis Braille Search. Though we thank Google for this gesture, we ask the company’s bright programmers to promptly implement a solution to the inaccessible visual verification scheme it has been using for over one year. In July of 2005, Google promised accessibility within “one to two months” and has, thus far, failed to deliver, thus continuing to barr the blind and visually impaired from full participation in all Google services.

We ask everyone in the blind community and all other interested individuals to take five minutes or less to compose an e-mail to asking Google to finally allow full admission by the blind by adding accessibility to its visual verification for all services. Google has told the world in the past they did not receive feedback concerning the need for greater accessibility. Today, they should be hearing from hundreds, if not thousands, of blind people and others asking that Google follow its own mission statement to do no evil and “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

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2 opinions on “The Irony of Google’s Celebrating Louis Braille’s Birthday While Locking Out the Blind

  1. Darrell,

    I and a few friends took your news of their Braille exploit as an opportunity to reminded Google (Again!) that they have a responsibility to get on with it already!

    The “Beta” tag is just a marketing ploy for most outfits on the web today, yet, many use it as an excuse to discriminate… it is shameful.

  2. Celebrating Lewis Braille’s birthday is just a way for them to feel good about themselves.
    That’s kind of like the diversity sign in braille at work, while I’m fighting with them to make their software accessible so I can use it to work.
    BTW, I’m adding you guys to the blogroll.

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