Google Wave for the Blind

YouTube, Google Moderator and Google Wave is totally inaccesable to the blind, here’s why…

One of my Google Friend Connect friends, Katty, is blind and cannot use most of the Google social features. In fact I had to create her YouTube channel for her because she could not use the CAPCHA at the time to create the account.

Not to mention all the other cool things Google now offers us because most of it like Google Wave uses AJAX to bring in the text in real time. It seems to me this is a huge opportunity for you Gwave developers to do something about this and help those of us who have less to work with get access to.

I am lucky to be able to type, see and hear. How could I continue my online carrer without any of these things we take for granted not to mention day to day life?

Here is what Katty had to say in a letter to Google thru me

Dear Google,

I’m a google user with reading disabilities (I’m blind, and am using a braille display and screenreader), I’m also member of the accessibility googlegroup.

Is Google wave, the new Google product, accessible for users with reading disabilities?

I Hope, you are co√∂perating with google coworkers as T. V. Raman and Chris Chen, so that users of the google services with reading disabilities could participate in Gwave, and aren’t excluded as is so often the case.

Concerning Google Wave: Must I set the display languages in the services I use to English for a
smoothly integration with Gwave? Or is it not necessary to do this?

I also have some other questions: The googlegroups (especially the help for google friend connect,
youtube, gmail, …) are working with google moderator.

The problem is, that google moderator only can be used by users with reading disabilities when gm
is set to the aria enhanced mode, and this is only possible by series like “ask a google engineer”, but not when you’re logged in into a google help forum, then gm is in standard mode (I couldn’t find how to change that to aria enhanced).

I can’t type my question I want to ask into the textbox that’s provided for this, when gm is in standard mode. I can find the textbox, but after activating it, the text doesn’t appear. So, the result
is, I can’t ask for help when I am wrestling with a youtube, gmail, gfc, …-problem.

A concrete question concerning youtube I’m wrestling with:

I discovered a link on the upload page of youtube account a link that says “upgrade” and after clicking this link (a javascript) I saw the link that says: “get a new google account or link to existing one”.

After clicking this link, a new window opens, where you have to provide your youtube password to verify the ownership of the account, but unfortunately, after providing the password I use for logging in in youtube (the same as that for google account) and clicking on continue I always see the message:

“The password is not correct”, although I surely know it is correct. *sigh* How to solve this problem? Normally my youtube-account must be linked to my Google account, on the services list in “my account” I can find the youtube icon.

But when I’m in youtube account settings and I want to change my password or e-mail, I can do that without the announcement I must do this in the Google account settings. So, there must be something with the link between the two accounts. So, what can I do to merge youtube account with google properly?

I’d also like to associate my secondary gmail-adress to my primary google account, so that gfc knows I own the primary and secondary google account. Will this be possible in the near future?

Thanks in advance for your concern and the help.

Best, Katty
http://kattykrabbelt.blogspot.com/

Katty, thanks for taking the time to hash all this out, I am headed to Twilio today to interview the CEO and Danielle Morrill.

Twilio is a text to voice engine. They can take a cell phone call and make it a Gwave converstion. N reason they connot take a Gwave text entry and spit it out as voice in a screen reader for the blind.

I will be talking to them about this today and they seem closest to the flame to get this done fast.

Katty, thanks again for taking the time to bring this to light. No reason why Google cannot address this themselves. – Chris


7 comments on “Google Wave for the Blind

  1. Thanks again, Chris!

  2. Steve Sipress on said:

    This will be used by so many people.

    Steve

  3. Well about the Google Wave part… Google can use ARIA to HELP screen readers to work with Wave. Even if they do implement ARIA correctly it may not mean anything. Only the newest versions of screen readers know what to do with ARIA (not all get it 100%) and screen readers are so expensive. Also in a perfect world Google would be 100% valid, ARIA is not in W3C validators yet…

  4. got some additions, I’m afraid.
    When I’m in google reader, it’s a real game of trial and error to share,
    like … a feed post. I can see the buttons, but clicking on them
    (activating them) isn’t easy. This is the case in both versions =full
    version and aria enhanced alike.
    So, there’s a long way to go for accessibility in google.

  5. got some additions, I’m afraid.
    When I’m in google reader, it’s a real game of trial and error to share,
    like … a feed post. I can see the buttons, but clicking on them
    (activating them) isn’t easy. This is the case in both versions =full
    version and aria enhanced alike.
    So, there’s a long way to go for accessibility in google.

  6. Got the mail below.
    “from “Thomas Jolliffe” It (an accessible version of youtube) is indeed still online, the address is
    http://tube.majestyc.net/

    Perhaps, this version of youtube is more usefull for us screenreaders? I
    have to test it myself properly. But if you have any comments, please feel
    free to fill in the questionnaire, and send the maker your feedback.
    Thanks in advance in the name of Thomas Jolliffe
    Best, Katty

  7. Got the mail below.
    “from “Thomas Jolliffe” It (an accessible version of youtube) is indeed still online, the address is
    http://tube.majestyc.net/

    Perhaps, this version of youtube is more usefull for us screenreaders? I
    have to test it myself properly. But if you have any comments, please feel
    free to fill in the questionnaire, and send the maker your feedback.
    Thanks in advance in the name of Thomas Jolliffe
    Best, Katty