Category: captcha

Google’s No Captcha Shows Some Progress

It sure was exciting when Google’s new reCaptcha was announced last week. Dubbed “No Captcha”, the goal of course is to provide a service that determines a human from a bot in order to prevent spam and abuse of online forms.

Derek Feathersone (@feather) from Simply Accessible was one of the first to report its accessibility impact in the blog post On the Accessibility of Google’s No CAPTCHA. The tone of the post is very positive, but the testing cited excludes JAWS with IE (still the most popular screen reader combination) where I found the No Captcha failed miserably. On the bright side, it passes with keyboard-only, Dragon Naturally Speaking, NVDA and the latest VoiceOver.

Two fundamental problems with No Captcha is that it requires JavaScript and it doesn’t work with touch devices.

You can try the No Captcha yourself on a test page hosted by Alastair Campbell (@alastc).

checkbox with label "I am not a robot"
Google’s “No Captcha” reCaptcha

At best, No Captcha simplifies the Captcha experience. At worst, it excludes some users even more than the previous version. Hopefully Google will fix the current issues, especially support for JAWS.

My recommendation is to continue using non-Captcha security techniques; two great articles on how to do so are Spam-free accessible forms by WebAIM and 10 Things to Check Before Using a CAPTCHA by SitePoint.

Related:

Rock bottom for Captcha, White House

Unbelievable and embarrassing. Is this a new low for CAPTCHA and also for the White House? Let me explain.

In order to sign an online petition by the White House to make books globally accessible to the blind, one must register an account. The fail point is that to register, one must complete a Captcha and the audio version is indecipherable. Therefore, blind folks cannot sign a petition advocating equality for the blind!

A very sad irony.

Here’s an example of the audio Captcha required to decipher in order to register to complete the petition. Because it’s impossible to decipher, the website does not meet Section 508 requirements as the White House claims.

Unfortunately there is still no clear solution to the Captcha accessibility and usability issues. For now it seems a combination of other techniques (see links below) is the best way to go.

Press links:

Articles on Captcha alternatives:

Link Roundup – May 2010

Twitter Roundup – January

Wow, this first month of 2010 flew by! So much going on in the Twittersphere, as usual. Here’s a quick summary of some great articles mentioned in the Twitter accessibility community. Please comment with anything outstanding that I’ve missed!

Also, on a sad note, we recently mourned the loss of Jack Pickard; a huge loss in the web accessibility community. Jack was a great web accessibility expert and advocate.

Podcast #72: Twitter Accessibility, Events, and News

Download Web Axe Episode 72 (Twitter Accessibility, Events, and News)

Chatter

  • Feedback for new Web Axe theme song?
  • Opera 10 beta
  • Where are the headings?
  • AudioBoo “A Eulogy For IE6” by Paul Boag.
  • Web Axe-Refresh Detroit Tweetup! Ann Arbor, Michigan, Saturday, July 18.

Events/Conferences

Twitter and Web Accessibility

Accessible Twitter updates:

  • Ajax for deleting DM.
  • Popular Links page; added categories.
  • Add URL shortening to DM page.
  • Add (limited) functionality to update user profile.

Compiled List of links from #TwitterBook (look who’s first!)

Other Accessible Twitter applications:

  • Try a mobile web app.
  • TwInbox – plug-in for Microsoft Outlook
  • Tweet s60: totally accessible Twitter mobile app for Nokia Series 60 devices (via @AbilityNet @BlindTwit)

Other issues:

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