Facebook Change for Accessibility
Feedback from the visually impaired
More Info at:
I: That all untagged images, elements, and links be given proper alt tags, which screen readers can use as a means of identifying the element. Many visually impaired individuals use screen reading software, which convert the text on the screen into a synthesized, understandable format by giving visual elements descriptive names. Under the ADA ( Americans with disabilities act ) , websites should tag images and links so that the blind may properly use them. ( Department of Justice,
) For reference, these images have been found present below subject lines in the inbox, and are only read as a #(#) sign as the link name by all screen readers.
II: That a proper system be created which allows the purchasing of gifts in the Facebook giftshop by all AT users. The images in the shop are not read and do not have descriptions, therefore it is impossible for a person with total vision loss to buy a gift without having to ask for sighted assistance. Our goal is to be a functioning member of this world without having to ask for the good will of others in succeeding certain tasks, weather they'd be simple or complex.
III: That e - mail links found in profiles be readable by screen reading software. Currently, e-mail addresses are stored in a picture, which means that AT products cannot read them. We understand that having the address in an image is an act of anti-spam protection toward users, as no spam bot can recognize pictures. However, this puts a disadvantage toward the VI communities, and situations may arise where an individual needs the e-mail address of one of their friends and cannot obtain it via his/her profile.
IV: That a rating system be created, which allows people with disabilities to rate a third party application on it's accessibility with AT software. With this system in place, developers can be made aware of problems which render their application unaccessible to many. A feedback form could also be imposed, which allows the disabled to submit direct accessibility advice.
We believe in this petition because Facebook has proven itself to be very flexible in creating new changes to the system, and because the company has already started the first steps toward accessibility. Various other corporations, including Google Inc. have taken maximum steps in achieving universal recognition of the visually impaired, and communicated successfully with its users in maintaining streamlined and accessible services. More and more people are joining Facebook, and it won't be long in the future where most people will own an account and use the social networking service as a means of keeping in constant contact with their family and friends. For this reason, it is important that everyone has universal access to services and features provided. Although functionalities which are only designed for visual purposes cannot become fully accessible, united efforts can be made in adapting to everyone's needs.