Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A problem with Yahoo!

Recently I've been experiencing a problem with Yahoo! that seems to be increasing in frequency. I'm hoping to hear from any other blind/visually impaired people encountering the same thing.

In a great and needed effort to thwart the spammers, occassionally when you hit send on a Yahoo! e-mail a screen comes up asking you to type in a set of letters and numbers that appears in a little box. The letters and numbers are made intentionally difficult to read so that automoatic spam programs can't get around them. The trouble is when you make something difficult for the general public to read, you can only imagine how hard it becomes for those of us who have low vison or are blind.

Some Web sites that use similar spam thwarting efforts have an accessability link where there's an audio file to listen to the letters and numbers. It's annoying to have to do that, but at least you can. Yahoo!, as far as I can tell, offers no such alternative.

I've e-mailed their tech support twice now and am waiting for a response.

I'm concerned if we don't address the issue now it will become a real problem for the HPS yahoo groups, not to mention the other 46 yahoo groups devoted to albinism alone - let alone all the other groups for all the other visual impairments.

It might be helpful if others complained to tech support. And, I'll let you know how it goes with them.

It seems to me that if Target can lose a lawsuit for not having a Web site accessible to the blind, then one of the leading internet search engines and e-mail providers, Yahoo! should certianly meet the same criteria to fall under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Hopefully we can get this fixed quickly and easily with no fuss. Since my first letter went unanswered, I am a tad worried.

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