May 4, 2007
Dear U.S. Senate Webmaster,
I am a blind resident of Arizona and working taxpaying citizen of the
United States of America. I am writing to bring to your attention an
accessibility concern on the senate.gov web site. Essentially, it is
not currently possible for a blind person relying on a screen reader to
find their Senators. After selecting the state and pressing the Go
button, the contact information for the appropriate two Senators is not
provided as expected.
As a taxpaying citizen who has paid in part for the creation of this web
site, I am asking that you work to correct this issue so that blind and
visually impaired citizens may contact their Senators online. I look
forward to your prompt, effective response to my request.
First, I have a Google account, but not a Blogger one, so not sure how this will turn out. But, anyway, glad to see you are on top of this issue with the site not working properly! Either the government has acted quickly, or there is actually a way to find the Senators, although it isn’t exactly easy. When on the page, and after selecting your state from the combo box, turn off forms mode and arrow down say to the search edit box. Then route JAWS to the virtual PC cursor. Then arrow up to the go button and use the left mouse click to click on that go button. Then, wait a few seconds, and the page with your two senators should be displayed.
Or, you can just click on the link that says “Senators.” The next page shows all of the senators with their political affiliation and state. Since the state abbreviation is followed by a right parenthesis, it is very easy to find your senators by using a find command. I live in California so I just did a find for ca) Just like that I found both of my senators. No, it may not be the most intuitive method, but it does work. I am all for equal access for the blind, (I’ve been totally blind since birth), but let’s not cry foul so quickly without investigating further.