Monday, November 30, 2009

Next generation CAPTCHAs

I know, I know it is ages since I posted. And it is with some regret that I'm posting about bad news - yes, just when some solutions to CAPTCHAs (those pesky images of words that are inaccessible to screen readers) are around, like the CAPTCHA killer, that work is underway on the next generation. And, reading this New Scientist article, it looks like these will be even more formidable barriers to overcome.

Yes that's right. When an image of a word that is invisible to screen readers isn't bad enough, lets take an image, animate it and distort it, and ask you to count the animals shown on it. So now, not only are screen reader users screwed, but anyone with low vision will be as well. And I can't imagine users with learning disabilities will find it easy either...

You may argue that an accessible alternative can be provided - an audio CAPTCHA for example - but if you have tried using those, then you'll know that these are generally no kind of alternative at all. And what about deafblind users?

I appreciate that spam is a real pain in the butt. I mean, I get loads of it every day, so I really would love to see something that works. But surely, in this day an age, we should be working on inclusive solutions?

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