Hello to you all, as I sit in my room typing this message on the first day of february, I am feeling very frustrated. This is not a funny blog entry, I have no review or critique to write of. However, please stay tuned, those will come in the future, and I think you will want to hear about what I have to say.
I would like to emphasize the importance of unity among the community of people with disabilities. The key word in that sentence was “community”, is there one? We must come together to fight the discrimination which is still out there (despite what the Americans with disabilities act might say). I say this for two reasons: First, because I find that people with disabilities tend to be isolated from one another with no real network, either for advocacy or socialization, to bring them together. The second reason deals with the topic which I would like to speak about. This topic of which I speak, of course, is facebook. I’m done with it.
Can you remember the last time you tried to sign up for some online service or some website and before you could registered it said something like “please enter the text in the box”? Well, I sure can, and here is the problem: this text is shown to you in the form of a picture. Therefore, when my speech software tries to read what is on the screen, it skips over the picture because it sees it as not text. There is no way for people who are blind to access this information, and this is why I am done with facebook. Every time I try to send a message or post on someone’s wall, it keeps telling me to enter the text in the box, which I can’t do. (Ironically, blogspot.com asked me to do the same thing when I signed up for this blog, but I got help for that one instance)
It is time for us to make our needs known. In response to any site that asks for us to enter in text in order to sign up, it is my belief that we should contact them and explain that this represents a lack in accessibility. I am hoping for the day when no site asks for this meaningless piece of information, but I am also realistic so I know that this day may not come so soon. Until then, please contact me directly, comment on this blog, and please be alert to gaps in accessibility.
Dan the man