I wrote a petition to Change.org concerning the inaccessibility of many common internet sites. I try to avoid drama, so don't know: 1. If Change.org will help me with this petition by copying and pasting, or 2. If anyone will read or sign it, as it has no guttwrenching, tear jerking writing.
As this is my Second attempt to share my petition, I wonder if I should have left Google and Blogger out of the petition. After all, not everyone is blessed to know a Tech. Savvy Wendi. Well, below is my note, minus the slapping of the desk, swearing, and yelling I do at my poor helpless computer when the sites I go to are hopelessly Unfriendly to her.
I am a totally blind person with a severe hearing loss. I use speech technology
and a Braille display to communicate online. I cannot correct spelling or grammar
using change.org and this is why I ask for your help. Will you cut and paste the
Petition for a More Accessible Internet
This petition will effect anyone who cannot read or learn from normally sized print.
The group I petition for include some people with learning disabilities, who learn
more easily from speech than from print. Also included are people with vision impairments,
blind people and people who are deaf-blind.
The Americans with Disabilities Act is over 20 years old. But the following situations
still happen Every day for hundreds of thousands of Americans, like me, who have
1. You can't drive to the store but hear about a great sale. So you get online
to Wal-Mart, Toys'r-Us, Target, or K-Mart. After a couple of Hours you have filled
in search boxes, "combo" boxes, gone through many pages of Useless links and headings
yet you simply Cannot find what you need or want.
2. You receive a wonderful E-mail add and try for hours to take advantage of it.
But all of the things listed above happen and you give up.
3. You have a blog which you care about deeply. But the host site changes its format
making it much harder or impossible to maintain. Your voice online goes silent and
no one who reads your posts knows why.
4. You must turn your computer's "screen reader" speech off to write a blog post,
or start a petition on change.org or do any filling in of boxes on a page appearing
on the computer monitor. You can type without looking at the keys but you get interrupted
by the phone. It is hard to find where you left off and if your finger slips, hitting
the wrong key, there is no way to correct a mistake in spelling or grammar.
A speaking computer doesn't read the screen in the same order as things appear on
the monitor. So even if you turn the speech back on to find your place, from before
the interruption, you must turn it back Off to make the correction. When you do
this, the cursor moves. If you try to change a mistake, you may make another one
because your cursor has moved.
Why should you care? First, there Are accessibility guidelines for online websites
to follow and they Aren't being followed. This is a broken promise by a nation which
promised us equal access more than twenty years ago.
It is more Frustrating than I know how to express!
Second, not being able to take advantage of sales costs those of us who cannot drive
or who would prefer to shop online money. Or we may do without what we need or want.
People with disabilities who live on fixed incomes are often among the poorest in
Third, for some of us who have disabilities the internet is a major source of communication
and we are often barred from communicating.
And fourth, not being able to easily correct spelling or grammar mistakes may cost
us jobs with online applications, prevent us from saying what we want effectively,
and make us appear illiterate or foolish when this is Not true.
As our population ages more people will be encountering difficulties with sight and
hearing. If they turn to speech or Braille they will learn suddenly that their Former
internet has just Shrunk dramatically.
I wish this petition to go to the Department of Justice and to the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission. I also want it delivered to Wal-Mart, Toys'r-Us, Target,
Barnes and Noble, and K-Mart.
This isn't a life and death issue, but it is a Big Quality of life issue for many
Americans like me, who have disabilities.
For a good example of an easily accessible site check out Amazon.com it is the only
shopping site many of the blind people I know use.