[NFBMO] Question about making computer technology 100% accessible

Gary Wunder gwunder at earthlink.net
Sat Oct 10 18:39:21 UTC 2020

Hello, Michael. I'll give you my two cents worth, but two sense is far short
of a dollar. This means I may be 98% wrong, and that is why posting to this
list is a good idea. Others can set me straight.

I have great dreams for accessibility, but I am not really hopeful that we
will make the world 100% accessible. I think that working on accessibility
is much like tree trimming. We work on the problem, fix it, but eventually
have to come back and do it again.

To the extent that computers reflect the real world, we shouldn't be
surprised that a lot of what happens on them is visual. I am old enough to
remember when computers did not produce pictures and when using them meant
memorizing commands. If you didn't remember the command to see what was in
your file folders, you were stopped. There was no point and click. There was
no real menuing system. Almost everything was textual. I worked in the
computer field quite a while before I came to understand the meaning of a
graphical user interface.

So what can you do? You can write to the people who are working with the
websites you want to use. Some of them will be receptive, and some of them
will not. Some of them we can take to court, but mostly they are
proliferating so quickly that that will not work to bring about widespread
accessibility. We are trying to work with the people who make web
development software so that they generate code that is accessible. We
haven't followed this strategy long enough to know whether it will be

Last but not least, I suggest that you figure out a way to work around
inaccessible websites when you must. Try not to let others deprive you of
things that you want. Find a friend or someone who needs a small job, and
use them to read web screens in the same way that you would use them to read
printed material from a paper. If you can afford it, consider a small
monthly subscription to the Aira service. Twenty dollars a month gets you
thirty minutes of service, and you can allow them to sign into your
computer, read what is on the screen, and even click what is necessary with
the mouse. If you use either of these alternatives, don't forget to write to
the people who have the websites you can't use independently. Using a
friend, a paid reader, or the Aira service shouldn't mean letting the
offenders off the hook, and if you have alternatives to that site, use them
and let the offending site know why they didn't get your business. 

I don't know if this is good advice, but I know that I have given you my
coping strategy. Maybe your inquiry on this list will bring about other
strategies that are better. If so, you will not only have helped yourself,
but you'll have helped people like me who are not completely comfortable
with the strategies we now employ. 



-----Original Message-----
From: NFBMO <nfbmo-bounces at nfbnet.org> On Behalf Of Michael Walker via NFBMO
Sent: Saturday, October 10, 2020 10:42 AM
To: NFBMO at nfbnet.org
Cc: Michael Walker <michael.walker199014 at gmail.com>
Subject: [NFBMO] Question about making computer technology 100% accessible

Dear national Federation of the blind of Missouri,

What can I do, to contribute to making software and websites 100%
accessible? I am sure many of you have faced the frustrations I have with
not being able to access certain websites. Some people tell me that I should
accept that somethings just will not be accessible. I find I struggle with
that. I feel like those issues need to be fixed.  Sometimes, accessibility
feels like a cat and mouse game. A website or program might be accessible,
but then an upgrade breaks the accessibility. Can the world ever be 100%
accessible? What do you think?

Thank you,
NFBMO mailing list
NFBMO at nfbnet.org
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