Feb 202015

I love my android devices for the fact that I can take them anywhere but I feel
that accessibility is lacking.  Too many websites push apps on you but the app
will have tiny to microscopic text even on a tablet screen with no way to maybe
increase the text size.  It’s a real shame that no on seems to take this into
account.  They just care about pushing “pretty” apps that half the time don’t
work properly to begin with.  Another good option to include is a light and
dark theme.  Oh well.. It seems everything you can even buy anymore is form
over function anyways.

Mar 022011

Die CAPTCHA inventer DIE!

I absolutely hate captchas.  It’s nice that sites try to block spammers and all but passing the responsibility on to the user in such a difficult manor isn’t the best approach.

For example today I needed to enter one just to enter my google account.  No problem except for the fact that the damn thing was even less legible than my hand writing.  They also have an audio option.. I thought great someone finally made them reasonably usable to the visually impaired like myself.  Well their sound was so muffled I couldn’t tell the letters from the background noise.  Thanks for nothing.

It only took me about 10 tries to get in by trying to read them holding my magnifier to the screen.  Thanks for the inconvenience and waste of my time.

Feb 282011

Well I found yet another website for a local restaurant that is pretty much unusable to me and many others.             Usually if we’re planning on going someplace I haven’t been I like to look for them online ahead of time to look at their menu if they have a website.

For the place we’re going to be going I thought great I found their website.  For one thing it’s slow loading and that’s just annoying.

The real annoying thing is they have a link for their menu.  Well the menu is pictures of the menu.  Why go through the trouble have typing it out I guess.   The text is so small I can’t even read it using my magnifier. Sure I could down somehow zoom in but I shouldn’t have to do that.

It seems like these shitty sites always have a link to the designer’s website at the bottom.  I’d be embarrassed to admit I designed it.

Jan 082011

This morning while reading reddit I saw someone who is legally blind ask for some advice on a computer issue.  I saw some suggestions with good intention that really wouldn’t help and some things that were ignorant.  I wanted to address some of them here since I see this in real life all the time being legally blind myself.

The first suggestion that stands out the suggestion of wearing glasses.  That’s a great idea except for the fact that if someone knows they’re legally blind chances are they would already have glasses if they would help.  They Do not help me personally but I know of others who get much help from wearing glasses.  The other thing with this is glasses may help someone and the visually impaired person may even be wearing them but may not correct the vision enough to for them to do what they’re trying to do.

Another Great idea in theory is to get a bigger screen.  While it’s true you can increase the size of everything on a bigger screen keep in mind the visually impaired person may have to be very close to the screen.  A screen which is too big would cause the person to have to physically move their head to read a line or see different parts of the screen.  I sit with my face about six inches from the screen personally so that would be a big problem.  It also prevents me from using a laptop comfortably which actually sucks because I’d love to have one.

Also due to their poor vision transportation can be a big problem for those who are legally blind.  Just because you know someone who is legally blind who drives doesn’t mean everyone drives. I do not drive and honestly I wouldn’t even consider it if I could legally blind because I know how my vision is and would not consider it safe.  At least in the United States public transportation isn’t a priority so many areas have little or no public transportation.

Dec 312010

For Christmas I gave Molly and Apple iPod touch 32 GB (4th Generation).
I have always personally written apple stuff off for me because of the touch screen.  I just didn’t think it would work too well with my very poor vision.  As it would turn out My old beloved Creative labs Zen W seems to be dying a slow death so I thought I’d look at Molly’s IPod.

After looking up accessibility for it I saw that they had a way to make the text large and reverse contrast which is what suits my needs best.  As a matter of fact my computer screen is white (or at least light text on a dark background now and that of course is how I have my browser set up to display pages.

I found the screen very readable on the IPod although I didn’t play with it for long since it’s her gift and I’m sure she wanted to play with her new toy!  When My old Zen finally dies I believe I’ll have to look closely at the Ipod because it seemed as it it would work well for me.  The other thing is it just makes sense for us so we could just bring one cable when we go someplace since it would work in both devices.

I haven’t tried it but I have also read voice features too which sound like they’d be helpful to me.  I am thankful a company would take the time to at least try to address accessibility in a mainstream product.

I do hope they’ve made some changes with the iTunes software for windows though, last time I had to look at that it was almost impossible for me to read.  That was a few years ago though and I only use windows when I have to so I haven’t tried it since then.

I really like how thin the IPod is.  It seems like it would be perfect to take to the gym which we will be doing regularly again soon.  I was pretty impressed with it for my first impression.

Sep 152008

I had to sign into Microsoft live today for some reason.  Well being visually impaired like I am makes the graphical ones hard to read.  Usually it takes me a bunch of tries to get it right which really is an inconvenience but it’s the normal thing now.

As usual reading the text really sucked.  I happened to mouse over an icon that was too small for me to really tell what it was but the title said “use audio mode”  I thought how great!  I’ll be able to actually do what I need to do with out a bunch of failed attempts.  I was in for a surprise.  It harder for me to understand the audio than it was to struggle to read the text.  The voice was distorted and hard to understand.  To add to that they had another “voice” to throw off automated programs.

Oh well.. Back to trying to guess from the picture which luckily only took 2 tries.  It was one of the easier ones to read with high contrast.

It really irks me that with all the technology which should increase accessibility they have to do such annoying things to stop spammers and other people who up to no good.  There has to be a better way.  Let’s face it.  They get through anyways so why go through so much trouble and waste other people’s time to do nothing in the long run?

Jul 072008

The other day I stumbled on a website for a pizza place in our town while searching to see if they have a website with a menu.  I wanted to see if they had anything new.   I always enjoy their food.

What was really disappointing was to see that the whole site is just flash. except for a link to the designer’s website of course and what I see as a spammy area of text with keywords for search engine purposes.  I can’t help but think of the late 90’s when I see this site then cringe to think of it.

I would like to know what the purpose of doing this site in flash was.  I see no redeeming reason to do so.  The print is stuck in a tiny font that to me is not legible.  I can’t change the contrast so I can read it.  I can’t copy and paste the text into another program so I can read it.  The only way I can change the font is to zoom the whole page in firefox and I believe this would only work in firefox 3.

I think the dumbest thing about flash websites is say I want to book mark a page on the website I can’t.  For example on this pizza place’s website I cannot book mark the menu.  If I try to book mark it I can only get the main page then have to click through to find what I want all over again. But the image around the menu changes by it self…. wow

I guess the one thing good about it is it doesn’t have a stupid intro that takes longer that I’m willing to wait. It seems to last only while the flash loads.  If wanted to watch something I would watch tv or choose to watch something online.

The really annoying thing about this web site is doesn’t use the browser’s forward and back buttons. Instead of going back the way I expect I have to go to the menu and click through. If I did accidentally click the back button I would go back to a whole different page.

I hate flash websites. It’s not that I am against all flash sites.. it has it’s uses where it works well. I guess that what’s really important about this site is it looks pretty! Who needs usability if it looks pretty?

Jun 152007

I came across a website this morning that I just could not sign up for thanks to CAPTCHAs. It was not a site I needed but just wanted to sign up to check it out so it’s not really important. I know I’ve written about this before but it can’t hurt to mention it again.

The text in the picture was so distorted it was hard to read it. To top things off the picture had very poor contrast so it was hard to tell where the text ended and the background color began. Enlarging the image didn’t help like it sometimes does. I don’t like spam but it’s slightly annoying when CAPTCHAs keep legitimate users from signing up.

Most of the time when they use the graphic CAPTCHAs I can get by but once in a while one comes up that just isn’t possible to work with. They seem to be getting more distorted. They work good in theory but they do have their limitations. I can understand why they’re used but they do have an impact on accessability.

Apr 242007

Last Saturday I had to go to an ATM at a fairly new store. The screen on the thing was different the older ones. It seemed to be an LCD or something like that and had lots of glare. You had to look at it from just the right angle but with me not being able to seel very well I was too close or something. I had a hard time reading it which was pretty annoying. It’s disappointing when newer technology is harder to use. I’d rather have the old green text on a black background instead of pretty colors with less than great contrast on a type of screen that makes things worse.

Jan 282007

Not that I’d really want one anyway since I’d want a phone that’s pretty much just a phone.

Being visually impaired  and thinking of those who and might want one I am surprised a company will eliminate so many users.  It would be pretty difficult to use with no keys. I’d imagine there’d be no way to tell if I’m touching the right spot with it being just a touch screen. It just wouldn’t be very useable for me or anyone else who has vision problems.  It seems to be common thing these days to see products from many companys to be more concerned with looks than functionality. 

I’ll be curious to see how it works out for people with 20/20 vision even because my guess is you’ll have to look at it to do anything.  So much for using it while driving I guess or will it be just another distraction?

 Posted by at 8:16 PM