Social Networking vs Accessibility
Monday, 28 January 2008
Social Networking. Most of us use some form of social networking tools. In fact, according to Kath Moonan, AbilityNet’s Senior Accessibility and Usability Consultant, the “UK participation in social networking is the highest in Europe with around 80% of the online population now making over 25 million visits a month”. However, sites such as Facebook, Myspace, YouTube and Bebo to name but three are not Accessible to all. This is the main focus of the new report written by AbilityNet (LINK : http://www.abilitynet.org.uk/docs/enation/2008SocialNetworkingSites.doc). Ironically, it is possible that the users that are excluded, may be some of the users who will have most to gain from social networking online.
Users may not be able to sign up for an account due to the use of CAPTCHA’s (discussed in previous post), then if they can actually log in, are faced with an array of the most basic accessibility problems. Most of the issues can easily be remedied.
I will not spill the content of the report for you here, but please follow the link above and see for yourself.
I will leave you with a short quote from the report:
“We would like to ask the operators of these sites to look at some of the key factors governing disabled access, namely: the reduction of the amount of CAPTCHA and the provision of an intelligible audio alternative; user-friendly support for those experiencing access problems and lastly, adherence to what is, after all, the law.”
Posted byCharlie M at 13:25