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Visual Verification: CAPTCHA Prevents Blind People from Signing Up at

May 17, 2007 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

I wrote the following note to Mike with after learning that they are now using a visual only CAPTCHA (visual verification) that prevents blind people from signing up for their services.

Dear Mike,
I am a blind user who is trying to create an account on  Unfortunately, your visual only CAPTCHA prevents me from completing the process.  Please consider removing the CAPTCHA, replacing the CAPTCHA with another form of protection such as e-mail confirmation or implementing an audio CAPTCHA that will play back the characters so that blind people may listen to the code to be entered.
I anticipate your prompt response on this important issue that currently locks out blind people simply on the basis that they are unable to see.
Best regards,
Darrell Shandrow
Accessibility Evangelist

2 opinions on “Visual Verification: CAPTCHA Prevents Blind People from Signing Up at

  1. I saw your note on Bob Parson’s blog and thought I’d come over here to drop you a line. There is FREE visual/audio captcha code for PHP users here:

    and I’ve developed FREE ASP code that does the same thing here:

    Since ASP uses variants for everything, you need to install’s boffer component to use it. That component can be found here:

  2. Update: Thanks to GoDaddy’s technical support folks, the code has been improved so the xStandard buffer (not “boffer”) component is no longer necessary.

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