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FeedBurner Adds Audio CAPTCHA for Email Subscriptions

January 23, 2007 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

We are very happy to report that FeedBurner now provides an audio CAPTCHA alternative to their visual verification requirement for the Email Subscription service. This now means that blind and visually impaired people are allowed to subscribe to RSS feeds using their e-mail addresses. In the article A New Hack on the Burning Questions blog, the FeedBurner people tell the world this accomodation was implemented within one day’s time.

Check out this excerpt from the article:

At 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 18, we put “normal” development on hold, gathered together in our new and improved conference room (now with white-boards and a projector!) and figured out our one-day projects. That’s the rule for Hackathon: enter the day with an idea, exit the day with a fully-implemented new feature for FeedBurner. “That’s impossible! Even for a computer,” you say. Well, this ragged band of rebels was up to the task…

This tells us that bringing down the “no blind people allowed” sign of inaccessible visual verification is mostly a matter of simply getting the decision makers and developers to decide to do the right thing. We just need to keep on the advocacy and the pressure, when necessary, to insist on equal access.

One opinion on “FeedBurner Adds Audio CAPTCHA for Email Subscriptions

  1. I’m glad FeedBurner implemented this, but unfortunately, at least from my experience, it’s inaccurate. I tried subscribing to a blog I frequently read, but it didn’t appear to accept the code I entered into the captcha box, because it brought up a message saying “please type the characters you see…”
    Worse yet, if I click the Listen link more than once, it gives me a new code which doesn’t work. I hope they get these problems sorted out. In the meantime, I’ll stick with R-Mail at

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