blog post: the inaccessibility of patreon. Staff uncaring

The following is on my patreon page which can be found here For those that want to be patrons please write to them. As a creator I’m losing probably average of $200 if each of my subscribers donated $1 a month. That can be a lot for some of us. Here is the post. 1

The following comes from a user of NVDA. For those that don’t know what NVDA is, it is a screen reader which can be gotten from nvda’s homepage (that page will redirect you to the new page) which is free and open source. I have also ben trying to contact patreon regarding accessibility on mac os. It’s better, but not getting there fast enough in my humble opinion. It actually seems like they want to deal with us mac users more than us windows users. They have an email to which you can reach out and bring accessibility to their attention. Please email platform@patreon.com and express to them your concern. Here is the email about that first.

Patreon replied with, a, send an email to this general email address, line, so, I am gonna call their bluff. I think everyone should write to the below if they cannot use the service or heard the service was inaccessible. In the meantime, I am gonna continue to look for emails and phone numbers. Share this email widely! I know many don’t use patreon, but I know many blind creators who could make a living off it if the app and or website had labeled buttons and links.

So as you can see they do not understand accessibility. The following is an email thread in its entirety with all names not redacted. Please spread this on your patreon page and everywhere else. I have not edited the thread so any mistakes in spelling etc are not mine, not this time. Let’s go make a difference.

Begin thread:

For the past months I have been trying to advocate for Patreon to take accessibility seriously. The below, is a giant list of threads and otherwise where I and others have attempted to do the same. They refuse to see how important this is. I have lost money because of them and I know many many many disabled creators who would like to use the service but can’t, even non blind keyboard users. The below is a blog post not by me, and then my email to a few folks at Patreon I did through some digging, and then the email thread with one employee there to someone else. Enjoy reading. And, no. I am not done.

Before I begin, our advocacy group email is below.

https://accessmedia.groups.io/g/team

team+subscribe@accessmedia.groups.io

Here’s one blog post on the subject.

Patreon and accessibility

And here’s their twitter response to me.

https://mobile.twitter.com/PatreonSupport/status/981211237429030912

And here’s the email they told me to email. I shared it far and wide.

platform@patreon.com

Now, here is the chain.

Hi!
My name is Robert Kingett. I am a blind patreon who creator who struggles with the service daily. I was thinking about closing my account all together because I was having a really hard, and in some cases, impossible time managing my page and my account.
I use a screen reader, In this case, an open source screen reader called NVDA. I do not use the mouse to navigate. I use the keyboard. To put it simply, a screen reader takes the HTML, reads the HTML, then translates it into a keyboard driven virtual buffer that we can hear while navigating around.
While I’ve always had a patreon account, even when I could see some, I was constantly unable to manage my profile and or account using a screen reader. My blind supporters have stopped donating to me because they could not change pledges or otherwise cancel their pledges easily. I lost money.
I would be more than happy to work with you on a regular basis to fix the many issues I have found. Some of these include poor heading structure or otherwise missing headings, missing alt text atributes for images… popup dialog box rendering to where the screen reader can see the popped out box… and, a few others. There are several relatively simple fixes you can do on the site that would increase accessibility. Some of the issues encountered throughout

the site include:

Missing alt text
– Missing form labels
– Empty links
– Empty buttons
– Poor visual focus for sighted keyboard only users
– Skipped headings making the document structure hard to understand.
– Orphaned form labels
– Redundant links (2 links side by side going to the same place)
– Links coded as buttons.

These are easy to fix. I would be more than happy to help you make the site more accessible from a screen reader standpoint and beyond. After all, as it stands, I cannot use your service. My patrons couldn’t, either, which is why they left.
When can we have a phone call about this? What phone number is the best to reach you? When can we have a conference call about this?

The below email thread is a long running one about lack of accessibility of the service. I know many who would like to use the service and who can’t edit their pages or change prices or cancel pledges or even use the service. The app is actually worse than the website. I know many of you are not patreon creators, but this is how I, and many others, make money.

I am gonna call the below today. If anybody wants to send emails or make phone calls, to try to get someone, let me know. clearly, he likes ignoring emails.

Tal Raviv
Product Manager
phone: 561.789.1015
tal@…
. . .
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Gregg Rosenberg
Apr 3 #443

Team,
I have great news. I am working with Wayne McKenzie at Apple, the Apple Engineering Team, and YouTube TV indirectly to rectify all the problems I have documented with YouTube TV with respect to app accessibility and once that is under control I will focus on content accessibility and describe audio. Wayne is going to be reaching back to me late this week or early next week with the request of log files engineering and YouTube TV folks wish me to extract from my Apple TV (4th Generation).

On Apr 3, 2018, at 11:26 AM, Robert Kingett <kingettr@… wrote:

The below email thread is a long running one about lack of accessibility of the service. I know many who would like to use the service and who can’t edit their pages or change prices or cancel pledges or even use the service. The app is actually worse than the website. I know many of you are not patreon creators, but this is how I, and many others, make money.

I am gonna call the below today. If anybody wants to send emails or make phone calls, to try to get someone, let me know. clearly, he likes ignoring emails.

Tal Raviv
Product Manager
phone: 561.789.1015
tal@…

On 4/3/2018 11:10 AM, Nicolas Steenhout wrote:
Hello again Tal,

I haven’t heard from you for nearly a week on my latest email, and for nearly 3 weeks on my previous email.

I have included Robert Kingett on this email as he is a blind individual who is unable to use Patreon. He is interested in speaking to people at Patreon on improving accessibility.

Thank you

Nic

On Thu, Mar 29, 2018 at 1:04 PM, Nicolas Steenhout <nic@… wrote:
Hello again,

Are you able to give me an update? It’s now been 10 months since I first reached out to you about accessibility. I did not hear back from you about who I can speak within Patreon to get this moving.

I have people who want to become my patron, but are unable to use the site because of the accessibility issues. Your lack of movement is costing me money.

I also know artists and podcasters with disabilities who want to put their projects on Patreon, but who are unable to join because Patreon is not accessible.

It would be great if Patreon came to accessibility willingly rather than dragging their feet to it.

Thank you for a PROMPT response.

Nic

On Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 4:35 PM, Nicolas Steenhout <nic@… wrote:
Thank you.

I’m sorry, but “it’s on our list and in our consciousness” isn’t good
enough anymore. It’s been well over 6 months that I initially
contacted Patreon about this issue.

To say “it’s on our list”, is basically paying lip service to
something that impacts a large minority. Promises without action are
empty.

Who can I speak to within Patreon that can provide more information
and act on it?

Thank you

Nic

On Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 4:08 PM, Tal Raviv <tal@… wrote:
Nicolas, thanks for the ping. It’s on our list and in our consciousness, and
I can’t externally provide dates.

Tal Raviv
Product Manager
561.789.1015

On Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 10:24 AM, Nicolas Steenhout <nic@… wrote:

Hello again Tal,

I’m reviving this conversation because it’s been nearly 6 months with
no movement on Patreon’s part on this.

What are you going to do to improve accessibility?
When are you going to do it?

Nic

On Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 8:08 PM, Tal Raviv <tal@… wrote:
Yep, to be clear we’re not creating an accessibility API.

I appreciate the deep insights, and I agree we have major problems. That
is
an impressive list. I can think of additional bad situations that are
also
very embarrassing, from our own experiences internally.

We need to fix this. Period. I can’t share too much more about our
difficult
internal decisions, but I can tell you that this is something that
everyone
on the product team is aligned with and knows is important as Patreon
grows
to become a significant membership engine. We also know that
accessibility
is a scale we need to climb and do not want to treat as a checkbox and
must
be respected as an ongoing commitment.

Let’s stay in touch. When this comes near, we will need help.

Tal

Tal Raviv
Product Manager, Growth and Platform
561.789.1015

On Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 11:49 AM, Nicolas Steenhout <nic@… wrote:

Hello again Tal,

If you’ll allow me to be candid – I think your approach of doing an
accessibility API is entirely the wrong approach. This is pretty much
akin
to relying on 3rd party vendors to offer accessibility. It’s an
approach
that doesn’t work. I know – I’ve been working in this field for over
two
decades and I’ve see it over and over.

I’m not saying APIs are bad, but they should not be your first solution
for accessibility.

There are several relatively simple fixes you can do on the site that
would increase accessibility. Some of the issues encountered throughout
the
site include:

  • Missing alt text
  • Missing form labels
  • Empty links
  • Empty buttons
  • Poor visual focus for sighted keyboard only users
  • Skipped headings making the document structure hard to understand.
  • Orphaned form labels
  • Redundant links (2 links side by side going to the same place)
  • Links coded as buttons

    And these were found in less than 5 minutes looking at the different
    sections of the site. I think it would be fair to say that these issues
    apply at all workflows on Patreon.

    I would strongly suggest that your team spend some time analysing the
    pages from an accessibility perspective. Try to use the site with only
    the
    keyboard. Use VoiceOver (if you’re on OS X) or download NVDA if you’re
    on
    Windows. Try to navigate the site that way. Look at each page using an
    automated accessibility checker (keep in mind these tend to capture
    only
    about 40% of the issues, but they’ll give you a great overview of all
    the
    pages you have). Tools like tenon.io or WebAIM’s WAVE toolbar can help
    you
    identify many issues quite quickly.

    And if you feel you don’t have the expertise on your team to make it
    happen, hire someone who does that. Obviously, I’d love to put myself
    forward to provide assessment and training to your teams – it’s what I
    do.
    There are many good, reputable outfits out there that could also help.

    Nic

    On Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 1:55 PM, Tal Raviv <tal@… wrote:

    Hi Nic – that’s really good information. Can you elaborate on their
    troubles? One initiative is that we are working hard on our API
    platform.
    This will allow many other apps and readers and other content
    platforms to
    deliver and gate content to approach accessibility in a high-leverage
    way.
    I’d love to have a quick description/understanding of their issues
    (content
    related, payment related, etc)

    Tal Raviv
    Product Manager, Growth and Platform
    561.789.1015

    On Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 10:14 AM, Nicolas Steenhout <nic@…
    wrote:

    Thank you for the update.

    Are you able to share what these initatives are? Is there any way I
    can
    help?

    I have several people who need accessibility that aren’t able to
    access my podcasts about accessibility on Patreon. This is beyond
    important
    to me.

    Thank you

    Nic

    On Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 12:40 PM, Tal Raviv <tal@… wrote:

    Hi Nicolas, very much agreed this is important. I appreciate the
    follow
    up and keeping this top of mind.

    Right now we have prioritized a few initiatives that are
    mission-critical in order to be able to address accessibility. Not
    my ideal
    answer – will keep you posted.

    Tal

    Tal Raviv
    Product Manager, Growth and Platform
    561.789.1015

    On Thu, Oct 5, 2017 at 11:46 AM, Nicolas Steenhout <nic@…
    wrote:

    Hello Tal,

    It’s been nearly 3 months since we discussed accessibility at
    Patreon.
    Are you able to give me an indication as to when the accessibility
    team will
    be in place and starting work on these important issues?

    Thank you.

    Nic

    On Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 2:44 PM, Tal Raviv <tal@… wrote:

    Hi Nicolas,

    Perfect and thank you for reaching out. We have done some scoping
    of
    accessibility, enough to know how bad we are at it. We are
    spinning up a
    team that would officially own this aspect of our product,
    including other
    frontend infrastructure. Now that we’ve grown to much greater
    reach than
    ever before, creator and patron accessibility is super important
    to us
    moving forward.

    Although I have scoped this in the past, will not be leading this
    team, and I will share your information with those who will do
    that to reach
    out when they finish staffing and forming it.

    Tal

    Tal Raviv
    Product Manager, Growth and Platform
    561.789.1015

    On Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 9:48 AM, Nicolas Steenhout <nic@…
    wrote:

    Hello Tal,

    Adam gave me your name and email address and said you were the
    best
    person to speak to about improving web accessibility for Patreon.

    As I was telling him, I’m interested in using the platform as a
    Creator, but my field of expertise is web accessibility and it
    would be
    great if Patreon were to be accessible to people with
    disabilities.

    I’m not sure how much work or digging you guys have done in that
    area at this point. There are several things I could do with you
    to work on
    improving, including providing training to your design, dev and
    QA teams to
    running an audit, and even helping directly with remediation if
    you want.

    I had a very quick look and noticed several issues that would be
    easy fixes and quick wins. Some other areas would require a
    deeper analysis
    and a bit more work.

    Perhaps the best thing would be to get on a call at some point
    next
    week and see where you’re at and how we can work together to
    improve things?
    My schedule is pretty open so please let me know what a good time
    for you
    would be.

    Thank you

    Nic


  1. authors note: the post after my introduction is a direct quote from my patreon page. Any mistakes in regard to the emails are not mine. 

blog post; an open letter to twitch

The following was sent to twitch at 10:00 pm on 12-16-2017

Hello twitch staff. I don’t know who to write this to so can you please forward this to the appropriate department.

I am a visually impaired user of your service and I do a lot of vodcasts, some of which are on my patreon page as well. As of mid November 2017 I have ben having trouble logging into your website. I get presented with an object my screen reader cannot react to. This is in my opinion a violation of the Americans with disabilities act, as this excludes the blind and visually impaired from using your site. I propose this fix be implemented by Wednesday or I will be reporting your website as an ADA violation. I’m a big believer in accessibility and your site is full of problems. Such as unlabeled buttons. But e log in issue is a big issue for me though. How am I t manage my dashboard etc if I can’t even log into the site and i”m presented with what looks like something that a screen reader can’t interact with. I will be publishing this on my blog as an open letter as soon as this is written, so this had better be fixed. I’m a a web designer and am working with a cooperation to work on utilities to report sites such as yours to those in charge of ADA law When I design any of my websites, I make sure their site is accessible to the sighted and the blind alike and all parts can be accessed trouble free

I would very much appreciate this be looked into so that all can access all parts of the site using our technology.

Thanks.

screneshot showing log in screen on twitch

second screenshot showing  an add that cannot be dismissed when I try and log on

final screenshot showing the add that  I can't dismiss. This is starting to get frustrating as it worked two to three weeks ago

#update
Twitch never got hold of me,; following is my complaint I filed at 13:06 on 12-21-2017

Website in question: http://twitch.tv
Issue: logging in presents an advertisement that cannot be dismissed. It shows up as a blank screen and a”modal” window when using narrator on windows, nvda on windows and voiceover on the mac.

Browsers used: chrome (macos), firefox (windows), safari (macos) and edge (windows)

Basically I’ve ben in contact with the twitch website staff regarding accessibility of their website. They now have a thing where if you try and log on there is an advertisement that cannot be dismiss that overlays the screen. Several buttons are not labeled enabling the user to mute video playback. I’ve threatened to report them for such violation if I did not hear from them by yesterday. I am now filing this complaint. Following is the open letter I wrote to twitch.

Hello twitch staff. I don’t know who to write this to so can you please forward this to the appropriate department.

I am a visually impaired user of your service and I do a lot of vodcasts, some of which are on patreon.tffppodcast.com as well. As of mid November 2017 I have ben having trouble logging into your website. I get presented with an object my screen reader cannot react to. This is in my opinion a violation of the Americans with disabilities act, as this excludes the blind and visually impaired from using your site. I propose this fix be implemented by Wednesday or I will be reporting your website as an ADA violation. I’m a big believer in accessibility and your site is full of problems. Such as unlabeled buttons. But the log in issue is a big issue for me though. How am I to manage my dashboard etc if I can’t even log into the site and i’m presented with what looks like something that a screen reader can’t interact with. I will be publishing this on my blog as an open letter as soon as this is written, so this had better be fixed. I’m a web designer and am working with a corporation to work on utilities to report sites such as yours to those in charge of ADA law When I design any of my websites, I make sure their site is accessible to the sighted and the blind alike and all parts can be accessed trouble free

I would very much appreciate this be looked into so that *all* can access *all* parts of the site using our technology.

Thanks.

If this is the wrong place for this complaint, I kindly ask that your staff forward this onto the appropriate department. I’m complaining on behalf of the entire visually impaired community as twitch doesn’t want to listen to us in making their website equally accessible for all.

Should you need to contact me, email is the best form of communication, as I’m at work and on call at all hours. I can therefore answer my email more quickly at times.

Again thanks.

We’ll see what comes out of this, if anything. I highly doubt this will resolve the situation, but at least I made good on my promise. I do not make idol threats, I do take action when I say I will.

blog post: a big issue with roger

<p>I recently sent the following memo to the roger team so they could take a look. If you would like to skip past it go head. I'll update you guys at the bottom of the memo with a summary of their reply ad my thoughts.</p>

memo

The following covers a big problem with roger regarding battery and iOs devices. I’m using iOs 10 on an iPhone 6 64 gig.

Although this is a wonderful app I noticed over the last 5 days and over the last 24 hours battery usage was quite high, even when the program was on the screen for 1.5 hours. This is a huge issue the developer team must look at as even with a battery case I dropped from 54 percent to 32 percent, in the case of the case, and that was with roger in the background.

Notice that Roger takes up about 63 percent and an average figure not an exact one.

The day statistic is even worse and that’s when I don’t have it on screen. I can have it in the background and the phone will drop to 85 percent in about 30 minutes or less. This issue really must be looked into

the following shows about 68 percent with 1.5 hours on screen and the rest of the time in the background over 24 hours.

Although the app is getting better in terms of battery usage, the developers need to look into what’s going on as I’m hearing reports from other users who are having the battery issue. This by the way is with out voiceover on. I tested it today.

reply

They came back to me about 3 hours later with a reply basically stating that the battery issues had to do with conversations. If you are in any larger ones your battery will drain.

This makes sense, however I’ve used other apps with groups with up to 100 people and the battery never drained. I also use my device in air plain mode and my battery still drains with roger. This in my opinion should not happen, as the app is not uploading anything to the server but storing the recordings locally on the device.

Notice that you can listen to and queue recordings to be uploaded when in airplane mode. the app still takes up more battery than it should, even in this case.

One more thing. I can have roger closed out of the app switcher, and the app is able to bypass all of apple’s safeguards and still be able to be used in the background. That is, you can still listen to and talk to people with out the use of roger. I’m actually surprised apple let this slip. Also if background app refresh is turned off roger will still let you know with the app in the background and out of the app switcher if someone talked to you, this also should not happen. One more thing. Sometimes roger is not even in the app switcher and I’ve heard some feedback that users can still hear other people on roger even when the app is not even launched. This is a big flaw in security to me and should be fixed.

Now I’m not a coder by nature, but I think this is a huge security risk. I’m in several groups where we are discussing these and other points. I’ll give info at the bottom of this message. Noe I’m not talking about the widget. I’m talking about when you have live play both enabled and disabled. I want to be wrong on that point actually.

action

I think if we take the time to email roger with a very professional explanation of what is going on and that the battery usage should be more efficient, they might fix the app.

discussion

I have a roger group where you can discuss the program and its uses. If you want to join click this link in safari on iOs and click open in roger. You can also click that in mac os and share it with iDevice with air drop. Roger will then open and you will be auto added into the group.

See you there, and let’s discuss.

a big issue with roger

I recently sent the following memo to the roger team so they could take a look. If you would like to skip past it go head. I’ll update you guys at the bottom of the memo with a summary of their reply ad my thoughts.

memo

The following covers a big problem with roger regarding battery and iOs devices. I’m using iOs 10 on an iPhone 6 64 gig.

Although this is a wonderful app I noticed over the last 5 days and over the last 24 hours battery usage was quite high, even when the program was on the screen for 1.5 hours. This is a huge issue the developer team must look at as even with a battery case I dropped from 54 percent to 32 percent, in the case of the case, and that was with roger in the background.

Notice that Roger takes up about 63 percent and an average figure not an exact one.

Notice that Roger takes up about 63 percent and an average figure not an exact one.

The day statistic is even worse and that’s when I don’t have it on screen. I can have it in the background and the phone will drop to 85 percent in about 30 minutes or less. This issue really must be looked into
the following shows about 68 percent with 1.5 hours on screen and the rest of the time in the background over 24 hours.

Although the app is getting better in terms of battery usage, the developers need to look into what’s going on as I’m hearing reports from other users who are having the battery issue. This by the way is with out voiceover on. I tested it today.

reply

They came back to me about 3 hours later with a reply basically stating that the battery issues had to do with conversations. If you are in any larger ones your battery will drain.

This makes sense, however I’ve used other apps with groups with up to 100 people and the battery never drained. I also use my device in air plain mode and my battery still drains with roger. This in my opinion should not happen, as the app is not uploading anything to the server but storing the recordings locally on the device.

One more thing. I can have roger closed out of the app switcher, and the app is able to bypass all of apple’s safeguards and still be able to be used in the background. That is, you can still listen to and talk to people with out the use of roger. I’m actually surprised apple let this happen. Now I’m not a coder by nature, but I think this is a huge security risk. I’m in several groups where we are discussing this. I’ll give info at the bottom of this message.

action

I think if we take the time to email roger with a very professional explanation of what is going on and that the battery usage should be more efficient, they might fix the app.

discussion

I have a roger group where you can discuss the program and its uses. If you want to join click this link in safari on iOs and click open in roger. You can also click that in mac os and share it with iDevice with air drop. Roger will then open and you will be auto added into the group.

See you there, and let’s discuss.

let’s have trouble wiht south west and google chrome on mac os

I look at southwest’s website using google chrome and mac os 10.11. As you can see there are a ton of issues including badly labeled fields etc. If you want to see the youtube vid there is a frame on this page that should let you play it. Please leave a comment in the disqus frame at the end of the post.

blog post: google going down hill?

The following is a direct posting from my facebook regarding what google will do on the 16th of January,. These are just my view points and anything expressed is my opinion alone.

My thinking about google is this. Google has, and always will be going down hill since they invented the so call open source thing called android. Come on. You are not even a part of the free software movement. Anyway for google to turn off half of a feature like they are doing with youtube. Why not just disable web cam recording completely. Why not just enable video uploads and say you are no longer aloud to record from your web cam. I know, take out live hang outs completely. I would not be surprised if this were googles next move. If it is, good on you as it is becoming totally inaccessible at least on osx. And you have to start a live hang out from the computer in order to do one from your phone. We now have apps like periscope and meerkat and now facebook’s live streaming thing. I might as well, in fact I do use those, I no longer will use google’s hang outs and will probably take down the ones I did do to show the fact I am apposed to google’s policies. Will this mater in the long run,No! But it makes me feel better to express my opinion thus.

Now follows the article in which this rant comes from.

Stupid! Stupid move! YouTube axes direct video uploads from webcams

Thoughts? I know some of my readers are android fans and that’s fine, but this has to do with the company and their policies.

blog post: the frustration of a facebook add!

The story started a few days ago when I wanted to post a facebook add promoting the hosting we do now. I thought this would be a good idea. Following is a modified facebook post I put up.

Well, I’m a bit frustrated right now. I was trying to post an add on facebook, so I tried this under voiceover. I got to the point where I needed to upload an image. That was fine, except I could not choose my age range or upload the image I had. I could not even choose the age range under that section. Clicking the button did nothing. Same with choosing my facebook page.

Then it came time to review my order. I got no ware as I could not upload the image or video. I then tried under nvda and firefox. I could not edit the schedule. The add was going to run for about 100 years. Not what I wanted.

I then tried nvda and Internet explorer. Everything worked except for the image. I hit the unlabeled button then hit upload. I got presented with the browse dialogue over and over and over again. I still could not even under Internet explorer or firefox choose the page or the age range. The image failed as well, as I already stated.
Someone got it to work with jaws 16 but since I don’t used jaws 16 for me it does not work.

I firmly believe that if an app or website does not work on all platforms then it doesn’t work. the person then said that “That is your narrow view point.” I have to disagree here person, as I’m loosing potential marketing dollars when a platform does not work accessibly on all platforms and with all screen readers no matter what you use and I’m not paying a thousand dollars to use jaws just once. I’m not even going to relearn jaws. I’ll stick with free and open source as anyone can modify the software and do what they want and let other s see the code even if the software is sold. As long as the person can modify the code. Freedom you know?

So if I can get the add manager to work under facebook that would be good otherwise I’ll have to take my advertising money somewhere else! I truly do not want to do this however money talks and if this cannot change I will go somewhere where my money will be accepted and the adds will be placed accessibly.

Office 2016 preview: a first look

I take a look at Microsoft office 2016 preview. The accessibility I’m sad to say is not all that good. The issue is this. The text area you typing to in the case of word is not readable with voice over. I show an example, or try to. I’d like your comments in this as I’m frustrated that this s our third try in regard to communications with Microsoft and they have yet to understand, or maybe don’t want to understand the problems we face with their apps.

What did you do after you tested this? I want to wake up with a lot of emails from the comments area stating your feedback on the accessibility or in this case lack thereof in office 2016.

blog post: a rant against the REV Corporation

I normally don’t’ rant on a subject unless I’m feeling the need to expose flaws in a company, project, review, person, etc. Today’s rant is going to be about the rev company.

I went to apply on Saturday February 21 with their transcription service to try and get work there. After all you can learn a lot when you transcribe audio in to text, for example wood working etc. The beginning was accessible on the website, I had to do the following.

  1. List my contact info
  2. Provide a writing sample.
  3. transcribe a piece of audio
  4. Upload my resume.

All of this went well until the transcription. The editor is half way accessible. It has keyboard shortcuts, but when you need to edit a mistake you cannot. No text is echoed when you arrow through by line, word, etc. I should add the style guide is half way usable with google docs.

I submitted my entry to the best of my ability. I then wrote them the following email.

My name is Sarah Alawami and I just submitted an application to become a transcriptionist. I might have bombed the transcription part but i assure you it was not me.

I’m visually impaired and have issues with the editor. Is there another way I can redo the transcription, perhaps type it out in text edit then paste it all in to the box? I can work easier in there, or i can redo the test and send it to you in word doc format or pdf. I had a bit of trouble with the slides and style guide, how ever I did try my best with what I could read with my screen reader. I want to make this easier on the staff of REV. I use your product on my iPhone all and love it, and I want to have the same wonderful experience working for you guys as well as using the audio app for my own needs.

Take care and have a wonderful day. >

I received an email stating they would look at my application yesterday and they were planning to make the editor a bit more accessible or have the person submit a document instead, how ever they had no date ( not surprising).

Fast forward to today when I received an email from them stating I did not get the job. I’m used to rejection letters but this one takes the cake. Following is an entry from what I like to call my job journal.

Entry from my job journal

02-24-2015
Applied to REV voice recording for a transcription job on 21 February. The application process is accessible until the editor. Then it half way is. I spoke to them and they said they would review my application. Here is their response.

Dear Sarah Alawami,
Thank you for applying for the transcriptionist position with Rev. We have rigorous minimum standards and unfortunately your application did not meet those.
Please do not contact Rev regarding this decision, as we are unable to further elaborate on our reasons.
Again, thank you for your interest in working with Rev. You may re-apply in six months.
Regards,
Rev Recruiting

My reaction

I posted about this on facebook and a lot of people agree with me that what they did is uncalled for.

What do I intend to do about this? I plan to remove REV voice recorder from my iOs device as I will not support a company that is rude to their future job applicants. This as I stated is uncalled for and I urge all of you to leave a bad review, or what ever it takes to get this companies attention. if they are going to treat me like this, who knows how they treat their employees.

comments? I want your thoughts on what to do next. If the rest of the job market is like this, then getting a job to me is pointless. Leave your feedback in the comments.

blog post: net-nutrality-for-the-disabled: an injustice waiting to happen?

I don’t normally blog about political situations as I don’t’ want to make any enemies, but the enemy of my enemy is normally my friend so here goes.

I’m not yet sure if I”m for or against net neutrality. How ever I know this. DO NOT USE THE BLIND AND DISABLED AS AN EXCUSE TO MAKE NET NEUTRALITY HAPPEN. That to me is a silent form of discriminations against us if this bill goes through. We to me cannot get higher priorities then people with out disabilities be they physical or mental. We need to stand up against this injustice in regard to the fight against or for net neutrality. Read the below article for more info and comment on this if you so choose with your feedback. Also feel free to share this with your twitter and facebook fans. I want a fire storm here. Tell the FCC not to take this in to consideration. blog post link follows.

Verizon Says It Wants to Kill Net Neutrality to Help Blind, Deaf, and Disabled People: from Mother Jones: “”

Feed back is welcome on this short piece.

blog post: a butg that needs to be fixed in pages.

The following is a youtube video I sent to apple regarding this nasty pages bug that I and some others found regarding this almost wonderful piece of software.
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nr4IWPJezxw

This is a bug that seriously needs to be fixed, and fixed in a hurry. Here is how to reproduce if you want to try.

How to reproduce

  • Create a document that spans more then 1 page.
  • Select text from 1 page to another, for example, 2 lines on page one then an additional 2 lines on page 2
  • Notice that the selection you just did on page 1 becomes unhighlighted. This can be verified with vo f6

the problem

This can make selecting text that spans more then 1 page difficult, almost nearly impossible. People can do this with a mouse so why can’t we do this with voice over? The work around is to put a page brake in above the text you want to select. This is counter intuitive in my opinion. If you forget to take the page brake out it will look a bit odd and jumpy when it comes time to print the document out, or turn it in, or what not. Apple really needs to fix this bug. I have emailed apple regarding this; here is their response thus far on March 24, 2014.

Hello,

Thank you for your email.  We appreciate the feedback and will pass this on to the appropriate people for their consideration. >

this have been their emails to me over the past few years so we’ll see what if anything happens in a minor update. I also encourage you all to maybe call the hot line as well at 877-204-3930 and show them the issue. The more of us that are professionally nice about this and can show them what happens, I think they will be more inclined to fix the issue, and it will help them solve the issue as well..

I want to know what response you get from apple as well regarding this, also leave a review on the mac app store regarding pages and this bug.

Your feedback helps the podcast/blog as well, so please feel free to leave it in the comment area below, and feel free to share this as well.

blog post: My view point about what fleksy did, and an over view of the new fleksy VO app

Yesterday (january 31 2014) Fleksy released its new
app As many of you know they have a
voice over specific app.
This has caused many a concern amongst the blind population as they are worried about fragmentation, and other issues and as one twitter user put it “I was a beta tester of @Fleksy and think they have completely exploited the blind community shame on you Fleksy” I how ever am not too worried as I have been testing fleksy since its infancy in 2012 and I know they can produce a superior product. I should add that this voice over app update is for iOS. I have to disagree with the statement above and here are my reasons in the remainder of this post.

As stated yesterday they came out with a new app that is now inaccessible to voice over users and they want us to install the voice over app. This is fine by my part. I can still type an email and send it successfully. See the screenshot pictured here.
an email with one mistake in it typed in fleksy Note I had to correct the mistake. I think this is a good move on fleksy’s part as it would be filled with features we will never use. Since I am not a sighted person i cannot tell what those are, but you sighted folks reading the blog can pitch in.

Reactions among the blind community

As stated I think Fleksy are doing a wonderful job when it comes to what they are doing. I am therefore shocked as to how some of the blind in general are reacting toward this news. As seen on this person’s
blog post,
they are uninstalling fleksy because of this move. This to me is an extreme reaction and should be taken in to consideration very carefully. We as the blind tend to over react, in that if it does not work anymore of if things don’t go my way I will just uninstall the app and wine about it. Some folks even on the applevis site are concerned as well.
will fleksy not be in the hall of fame any more?
I personally think it should be: it still is a very good app, it can save someone battery if they don’t have a bt (blue tooth) key board, it is very productive, it is feature rich, and devs are now encouraged to incorporate it in to their apps, of which there are 3 at the time of this writing.

I can see where fragmentation might worry some visually impaired people, and they have the right to think this, but by all means, be more proactive and professional in your feed back when giving it. Give the app a chance, below I will post a small overview for those that are new to the app.

Overview

Here is a slight overview of the fleksy window. Pictured here is the main screen with no letters typed yet on it. <blank fleksy screen with no letters typed After holding down your finger at the top you get a menu pictured here Here is what it looks like with no typing menu when you have a blank fleksy screen and here is what it looks like with typing, showing your various options. fleksy menu with options after you have typed. In this case it's the word test These might vary according to your device, how ever just tap the one you want to accomplish and it’s done. You might need to correct some mistakes but over all fleksy is very good and the team are doing their job right in my opinion.

I hope that people will think of their reactions and take them in to consideration and give fleksy another chance. The team are trying their hardest and they do not deserve the attitude that some of us are giving. As for me I’ll stick it out and see what they have to offer in their product line up.

Comments and questions are more then welcome. What are your thoughts, be constructive in your feedback. Should fleksy have done what they did and why.

[signoff]

firefox accessibility going by by for us mac users/

in late 2011 i did a youtube video regarding firefox and its accessibility. It at the time it was very promising. Now how ever things have changed. I just now ran the latest firefox released june 18 of this year (2013) and it appears we went back to square 1.

    >

  • no menu bar,
  • no way to open a url, that is cmd l and cmd o and even control l don’t’ work.
  • cmd q does not work to quit the app therefore you have to force quit.

there are probably other things i’m missing but this is what i noticed on first looking at the app. You can read the initial blog post
i have no idea aha thappened as before when i did the youtube video firefox worked pretty well, it was slow but it worked. Hope one day it will be ready for prime time use for the mac os platform. Your comments are more then welcome here, as well as tips and tricks.
[signoff]

Should accessing news sources be a crime?

This is so ridiculous. I can see many teenagers being scared to access the news. Here is a quote from the website which i’Ll link to.

“Yet, disturbingly, the departments of justice (doj) of both the bush and Obama administrations have embraced an expansive interpretation of the computer fraud and abuse act (cfaa) that would literally make it a crime for many kids to read the news online. And it’s the main reason why the law must be reformed.”

Here is an excerpt from one of these news sites.

"You may not access or use the covered sites or accept the agreement if you are not at least 18 years old.”

The article goes on but i’ll let you read it yourself.

You can access the article at this site.</>
[signoff]

blog post: samsung attempts to sue apple to get rid of voice over on all iOS devices

Yes you read the subject right. the patent troll also known as samsung is attempting to get rid of voice over on all iOS devices. here is the link to the story on the bbc. And here is an email posted by a list member. I got his permission to post this. and I agree 100 percent.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Please forgive my email but a very valuable piece of information has been brought to my attention that affects blind IT users everywhere who use apple hardware. For those who know and those who don’t. Samsung Electronics has filed a patent removal case against Apple. inc over the accessibility component called “Voiceover” also it’s other assistive technology components developed over iOS. To set the record straight on this, Voiceover for both OS X and iOS is developed by apple and NOT samsung electronics. The assistive technologies pack built into iOS is developed by Apple and NOT samsung. With this attack from Samsung against apple, If a court rules in favour of Samsung, Apple will be forced to remove Voiceover and all assistive components related to the iOS interface. This will affect all blind and visually impaired / print impaired users as well as those with complex learning and communication disabilities. We as a disabled community must stand firm and support the necessary bodies connected to fighting against Samsung Electronics challenge against apple. If Samsung are allowed to continue, they would be found guilty through a class action suit of disability discrimination and human rights violations. So that anyone on the internet reads this message, If you’re a manufacturer or developer of hardware / software, understand that disabled people use your products and have an equal right to use your products as well as you. Imagine if you will, a situation where you woke up to see nothing but black for the rest of your life and have to rely on your other senses to work for you, you won’t be able to drive, read a newspaper, NOTHING AT ALL! without support and adaptive technologies and toools. These products exist for a reason, to promote equality. Please forgive this off topic email. We must do something proactive and legal to make ourselves heard. We are human, just like the rest. Just because we cannot see clearly or at all, does not mean we cannot exist in this world. When we are walked all over, do we not feel pain? When we are wounded, do we not cry out? We are equal to all others and just because our bodies are impaired in one way or another, Don’t shut us out. We are just like you!

So what are we going to do. Boycoting is not an option as there are too few of us to do it and it will not hurt them. I’d like your thoughts and comments regarding this matter. Do you think it’s a good idea for samsung to block voice over and all accesses functions of the iOS devices just so they can take over?

[signoff]

What will become of msn’s third party support in 2014?

I guess we’ll see what happens concerning msn and Adium. Frankly, I’m not happy that Adium might have to drop msn support because Microsoft will no longer support connecting to third party apps in 2014. I’m hoping Microsoft will reconsider their decision as I used to connect to Miranda. See the podcast I did on miranda. There are other clients such as trillion and not all of us will want to use skype. With that out of the way here is the blog post.

Adium – Blog » Microsoft will be dropping MSN for Skype: “”

So as you can see Adium basically has their hands tied. I want your thoughts on this in regards to what’s going to happen or what you think might happen in the coming year and explore all aspects of all os’s that use third party clients to access msn services.

[signoff]

kindle accessibility: a podcast by Alleson of the gwenna cast.

Alleson talks about the kindle app and a letter campaign going on at the apple vis site to let amazon that we need the kindle app to be accessible, not just for readers but college students like myself. Amazon has a history of not making their products accessible unless they are sued, I hope we can send enough letters to do this. Just follow the prompts at the campaign for the month part on the apple vis home page. Thanks all, and good luck.

[signoff]

copyright rant by Allison from the gwenna cast

Allison rants about a bill that I believe is dead by now. However this is an issue to consider for the future.

The opinions expressed on this episode are not the opinions of tffp or anyone associated with tffp. We take no responsibility for what might result from said opinions of our guests.