Tags: blind | white | house | petition

Association of Blind Slams White House Over Online Petition

Image: Association of Blind Slams White House Over Online Petition The opening page from the whitehouse.gov website where the public can petition the White House on an issue.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013 10:53 PM

By Matthew Auerbach

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The National Federation of the Blind has a bone to pick with the Obama administration over the White House website, which it says is making it nearly impossible for its members to sign an important online petition, reports Politico.

The NFB says the problem glitch is in the test that requires users to type in a set of numbers and letters to prove they are human.

On the White House website, blind users can select an audio version of the test but, according to federation spokesman Chris Danielsen, the audio cannot be understood.

And if users want to email the White House to notify them of the situation, that also requires a computer-human test with undecipherable audio.

“We had asked people to sign the petition and we're getting these emails saying that people can't,” Danielsen said.

“The Constitution allows all of us to petition our government for a redress of grievance. It says nothing about needing to be able to see in order to do so.”

The petition calls for the Obama administration to throw its support behind an international treaty making more books accessible to the blind.

Since the petition was created May 23, some 6,100 people have signed on.

Danielsen believes many more would have signed on had it not been for the glitches on the web site.

For an official White House response, the petition would need 100,000 signatures before June 23.

The White House maintains the website is fully compliant with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which requires that federal web sites be accessible to people with disabilities.

It says it is looking into improving the site.



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