[bct] Re: Should we do a chat on improving software accessibility?

  • From: "Allformats" <allformats@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 12 May 2006 10:25:44 +0100

Hi Krister

A very interesting discussion and here is my response for what it is

OK so what about Google?

People signed a petition not too long ago through Blind Access Journal
and BCT hosted it too.

Then I saw a link to Jobs at Google where accessibility was of prime
importance as one of the roles in particular for would be applicants.

Google have also highlighted the 'basic html' link as being the best way
for people using screen readers to access their mail.  

That is just one example and why did it happen?

Presumably because people got on to Google about it and remind them that
we are just as much customers as the next person; we can and should be
able to access current and emerging technology and that there can be
good and bad press depending on how they respond.

For the record, I run a Transcription/production enterprise here in the
UK called All Formats.  We produce Braille, large print and
audio/digital audio for companies and organisations for access by their
visually impaired customers.  I can tell you from first hand experience
that they (companies) do listen but, sometimes it does take a petition
or a face-to-face meeting and highlighting the advantages to them in
terms of our spending power; their reputation (dependant on their
positive or negative response) and much more.

I hope this helps contribute to the discussion and I leave it here for
consideration for anyone reading it.

Cheers <smile>

Birmingham UK

-----Original Message-----
From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Krister Ekstrom
Sent: 12 May 2006 09:51
To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [bct] Re: Should we do a chat on improving software

Hash: RIPEMD160

Hi listers,
I know that what i say now is politically incorrect, and i will probably
get flamed to ashes for saying this, but i'll say it anyway.
Sure we could do a chat on how to communicate with companies and so
forth, but i think it won't change the situation a bit. Why? Because
we're actually a small fraction of the market and as the majority rules,
we won't get listened to. We may get heard, but we won't get listened
to. We can bash the companies all we want, and they'll probably say: "So
you're 20000? Well we have 8 gazillion people around the globe who use
and love our software, and if you don't or can't, well tough luck".
I'm not saying i like the situation, only that it is like that.
Only my 2 cents.

Tiffany Black wrote:
> I think your chat's a good idea.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> [mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Debee Norling
> Sent: Thursday, May 11, 2006 10:27 PM
> To: Blindcooltech@Freelists. Org
> Subject: [bct] Should we do a chat on improving software
> Short version: a Saturday evening chat on strategies for communicating
> developers about how to make their software more accessible. Does this
> interest people? Should I lead it?
> Long version:  I am in desperate need of a DVD-Writer. My husband has
one if
> I get super desperate, but I need one at work, where I scan books for
> living so need a way to archive them, no fuss, no muss. I'm sick and
> of CDS and the Windows XP CD writing wizard.
> So yeah, you're saying, shop for a DVD-Writer; do a little research,
> one, get boss to reimburse you, problem solved.
> Ok, so I shopped. I shopped in the store, I shopped online. There are
a ton
> of DVD-Writers out there.
> Every single one comes bundled with some DVD-writing software. Some
got Nero
> 6, some got Nero 7, some got Nero Express, some got Nero something
> Some got a software suite from NTI. Some got a Roxio product. There
> twenty different versions of Roxio burning thingies. Many come with
> I've never heard of.
> And by the way, when my husband, a sighted electrical engineer and
> experienced computer user, installed a scaled-down Nero that came with
> writer, it dragged in a lot of junk like the Yahoo toolbar, which he
> want and had trouble removing. His Nero also clobbered Safe Mode, a
> bug he read about online, and it took him hours to get his system back
> the way it was before. I love bundled software!!!
> So, already I've used about six different CD-burning programs and my
> favorite one is the Linux command line tool. Rick did a great job with
> but who knows if the Nero that comes with the DVD-Writer I buy is even
> to the Nero that he reviewed. The "express" and "limited" versions of
> product often have a completely different interface.
> So, OK, I figure I'll just download some shareware and pick an
> burner that will probably work with the hardware I plan to buy.
Yesterday I
> downloaded and tried three programs, "Swift Burning Wizard" "Deep
> and "Zip backup to CD". All were reviewed as having a very bare-bones
> interface, using few system resources and being particularly good for
> archiving files.
> All of them wanted to "create projects" "create a data CD" "build a CD
> Image" and were set up for you to drag and drop icons hither and
> They could create auto-run scripts and playlists and for all I know
> sinks. Why does software have all this extra and unnecessary
complexity! I
> want to just select my files, and click a write to CD button. I don't
> to create projects and mess around with a ton of dialog boxes.  I want
> program to be smart enough to cope when my data fills more than one
CD. Like
> why can't a program just tell you that it will need 4 CDS and start
> All three of these supposedly simple programs weren't simple, and more
> important, were not very accessible. With a lot of poking around, I
> burn a CD, but to do it on a daily basis, in a busy work environment
where I
> am constantly interrupted, forget it!
> Then I listened to Tony's cast about the inaccessibility of Spyware
> -- I have a rebuttal for that, but that's a different story -- and I
> very frustrated. The reality is that software is a lot less accessible
> it used to be.
> So to fight back, we need to find ways to communicate with developers
> language they understand about the problem. It isn't enough to say,
> Mr. Programmer: your software doesn't work with JAWS". We need to tell
> exactly what doesn't work, why and how to fix it.
> I propose that since I like to write, and know how to program, sort of
> anyway,  that I write a draft letter to developers and then we do a
> brainstorming chat and all attempt to improve it.
> Once we have a good letter, we can easily tailor it for our individual
> needs, and send it off to developers when we try to use an
> program. I'd concentrate on shareware and low-cost software that is
sold by
> small companies online. For example, I'd talk to Patrick about Spybot
> I'd talk to Symantech about Norton Anti-virus.
> Your thoughts, please. Should we do a chat on this? Should I craft up
> draft?
> --Debee
> * The biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has
> occurred.
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