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Re: Captcha and inaccessiblity

From: Tom Croucher <tcroucher@netalleynetworks.com>
Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2003 15:46:51 +0100
To: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-ID: <oprw8t0desu930jj@mail.icet.co.uk>

Charles,

A couple of points, firstly yes it might be inaccessible but I am trying to 
be pragmatic. If we can help find soltuions and offer advice to companies 
that feel they need this feature that can only help. Companies for example 
could argue that it is uneconomic to not use captchas. How many of use have 
recieved spam from yahoo or hotmail or aol addresses. Yahoo uses captchas 
to attempt to address this issue.

>
> well, for people who are Deaf I can see a minor difficulty here...
>

Well presumably the deaf can use the images. The blind deaf are another 
kettle of fish.

>
> People who use an image and don't provide an alternative functionality
> already fail to meet the guidelines. People who rely on an audio or an 
> image

Using an alternative would obviously defeat the point.

> are doing better - I don't think the guidelines requirements as they are
> would pick that up, although it would fail WCAG 1 by not being device
> independent - it relies on either image presentation or audio 
> presentation,
> and again there are a group of people who won't win...

As we all know text is the only universaly accessible medium we have is 
text. However universaly accessible also means machines which makes it 
difficult to use as a security measure. I think simply saying "You are 
inaccessible, deal with it." is the wrong approach, however I don't think 
that we should just give them exception either because this approach does 
make it completely impossible for someone with a reader to register for 
yahoo mail for example. It is a case of finding a reasonable balance, what 
I am suggesting is that the best way to find a reasonable middle ground is 
to insist sites use both audio and visual captchas and provide a method for 
people who are both deaf and blind to contact them and get a code which 
will bypass the usual system.

Tom
Received on Saturday, 18 October 2003 10:51:07 GMT

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