Wednesday, June 15, 2011

No way to verify

We are living in an information society and a knowledge based economy where one heavily depends on the other. Without information we are nowhere and without knowledge gathered from information we are unable to make decisions of any kind. So, just imagine not being able to make vital decisions because we are unable to verify the relevant information.

Does this circumstance really exist? Indeed, it surely does and it is the case for millions of blind, sight impaired, and deaf/blind persons worldwide. Why does this circumstance exist? Well, it all has to do with the inability of blind, sight impaired, and deaf/blind persons not being able to verify online information. Why is this? Because a lot of the information is inaccessible to these persons in alternate formats and more often than not, they need to depend on a sighted person to read it to them. This means that there is no mechanism for these persons to verify the information because they are unable to read it for themselves.

What does all of this mean? It means that without any dependable way of verification, blind, sight impaired, and deaf/blind persons are practically held to ransom so to speak. They are unable to verify information and accordingly they are unable to make safe and sound decisions for themselves. It's something like this: If you are unable to read something for yourself it only goes to say that you really cannot verify it. So then what's next? A call for information to be produced in alternate formats in a timely manner.

What is meant by the term alternate formats? In Braille, large print, and in e text format; that is, HTML, TXT, Word, RTF, and PDF that is appropriately tagged so that screen readers can decipher them.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a terrific day and inviting you to go out there and learn more about the meaning of alternate formats. Visit to learn more.

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