If you have been about the web for any length of time you will have undoubtedly seen the use of captcha increasing rapidly. These anti spamming measures are employed on websites to ensure that the interaction they receive comes from a real human rather than a ‘bot’ used by a spammer to try and obtain a link back to their website in an underhand manner. It’s more common among very popular sites which have high bandwidth requirements, the idea is to restrict to legitimate users. For example this site shows how to watch BBC abroad using a video demonstration.
Unfortunately, these captcha measures are creating a problem with those members of the public that have problems with their eyesight. Recently, The National Federation For The Blind has criticized the White House government website about an online petition that is ‘guarded’ by a difficult to read captcha program developed by Google.
The petition itself regards increasing the accessibility of printed material for the visually impaired. The National Federation For The Blind is claiming that the petition only has a limited amount of signatures due to its members not being able to read the captcha that needs to be inputted before a person can add their name to the petition.
This has brought attention to the use of captcha devices and how they are not a good solution for all types of people. The question is, what can we do to help out members of the blind community when they want to access certain websites online?