[access-uk] Re: The Inaccessible Herts Society for the Blind Web Site

  • From: "Ray's Home" <rays-home@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 3 Dec 2005 21:59:47 -0000

Apart from my post of a few minutes ago, I can contribute maybe one useful 
comment to this thread.

I've just tried the site using Mozila Firefox (1.5 final release.)

What happens is that the missing links turn up as index page numbers;  thus:


turns out to be 'News and Events.  Well, that's not all that useful as the 
links as revealed in Firefox give no clue as to the actual content.  Still 
thought it might help someone to know this.  (Using Window-Eyes 5.5 final 

Personal emails:  Email me at

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John Farley" 

| Thanks Steve.
| John Hood is actually the Company Secretary, but he seems to be the driver
| on this. As you say he is taking absolutely no interest at all in any view
| which is not in line with his. 
| This nonsense about needing some new software in order to fix it is a case
| in point. You and I both know it is a job of a few hours to fix it.
| He tells me that they have a blind person who develops screen reader
| software; but no more detail than that, who is advising their web site
| design company. No details of either of these has been shared.
| Both John and the CEO, Tony Edwards, seem to be oblivious to the message
| that putting out an inaccessible web site which purports to be for blind
| people is that blind people do  not need to use the internet. 
| I just hope that the message does get to them.
| \\\
| | | Regards, John
| Contact on : (Home)
| john_farley@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
|        or : (work)
| john.farley@xxxxxxxx
| -----Original Message-----
| From: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
Hi John,
| I totally agree with you that this is unacceptable.  Some three months ago,
| I advised John Hood, I think his name is, the chief exec of HSB that this
| was a bad example of accessibility, and ways to change it.  But I feel they
| have taken absolutely no notice of me either.  So much for a society for the
| blind?
| All the best
| --
| Computer Room Services:  the long cane for blind computer users.
| Telephone Voice:  +44(0)1438 742286, Fax/BBS:  +44(0)1438 759589
| mobile:  +44(0)7956 334938,
| Email:  Steve@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
| Web site:  http://www.comproom.co.uk  
| -----Original Message-----
| From: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
| John Farley
| Sent: 02 December 2005 20:23
| To: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx; TNTALK@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; info BCAB
| Subject: [access-uk] The Inaccessible Herts Society for the Blind Web Site
| All, first I must apologise for the cross posting of this note. I feel very
| strongly abut it and wanted it to reach the widest possible audience.
| I am a member of the Hertfordshire Society for the Blind and attended it's
| A.G.M. on 17th November. One of the activities at this event was the launch
| of their new web site on www.hertsblind.com on that day.. 
| It was very difficult at this time to fully review the site, but I did so
| when I got back to a PC with full access to a screen reader, in my case
| Window-eyes.
| I found that the site was not properly accessible to people using a screen
| reader, in fact an issue which was known about and published on the site
| itself.
| That day I pointed out, in e-mail, the access problems with the site and
| requested that something be done abut it urgently.
| Despite protestations from the senior staff of HSB that they had taken the
| needs of visually impaired people into account and that they would fix the
| site the issue is not being dealt with in the manner which I would expect.
| Today I was notified that it may be corrected by the end of January.
| I am sorry, but the message that this gives out is that the needs of
| visually impaired people who use the internet are very much secondary to
| some other greater need. I find this totally unacceptable from a body
| designed to help visually impaired people.
| I am told that the HSB does not have vast funds and so cannot do what larger
| charities do with their web sites; a very cursory inspection of the site
| would show that the access changes required are not great, but would then
| enable it to be useable. For a reason I do not understand HSB have been
| advised that the site builder requires a new piece of software in order to
| make it compatible with screen readers and that this will need to be learnt
| before it can be put in place. I don't buy this excuse!
| Some examples of the issues on the site (which I have informed HSB about):
| On many pages, if not all there are what I take to be links to other
| information which are not accessible. These are the usual navigation links.
| They have been set up with a graphical link rather than what I believe is
| the standard kind of link which screen readers can use. On the front page
| Window-Eyes reports 5 links, where I believe there are in excess of 22 on
| it.
| It is actually fairly difficult for a user with a screen reader to Comment
| on the site as the link to the Contact Us and Comments sections are not
| accessible. 
| There are a number of documents which can be downloaded for subsequent use.
| They appear to be some sort of protected Word document. Once downloaded, due
| to the protection you cannot use the cursor to navigate around them. Some
| access is available with a virtual mouse, but that is far from properly
| accessible. A PDF document would have been much better. 
| It would be nice if the site were to make a little more concession to Its
| VIP readers and accommodate changing of font size and colour to allow   for
| easier reading for those with some sight.
| By means of this e-mail I would hope that the HSB would receive a greater
| deal of lobbying in order to make their site accessible in a more acceptable
| time frame.

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