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CAPTCHA challanges keep blind users from using wikimedia's full functionality
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Author: oedipus

wikimedia -- at least wikipedia -- now demands not only my username and password, but if i misspell one or the other, i must also copy the contents of a visual CAPTCHA test in order to prove i'm a human and to log in. this i cannot do, because i cannot visually process the image i am supposed to copy; in other words, i am blind.

since i cannot copy the contents of the visual CAPTCHA test, due to my lack of sight, there is no way for me to login to wikipedia if i misspell my username or password, for to do so, i must copy the contents of a purely visual image;

this is a SERIOUS problem that needs to be addressed immediately; please consult the World Wide Consortium (W3C) Note, entitled: "Inaccessibility of CAPTCHA: Alternatives to Visual Turing Tests on the Web"

as for real-world examples, google is now adding an audio alternative to the CAPTCHA image, microsoft does as well;

for a specific example, consult:

wikipedia username: GJR
real name: Gregory J. Rosmaita

i also find it EXTREMELY annoying that i can't add keywords such as CAPTCH, image, graphic, accessibility, usability, audio alternative, uni-modal UI, blindness, blind, or uni-modal -- why am i limited to keywords if they don't address the topic i'm addressing

i also could not use the "Depends on field because the tracker won't accept:
misstyping userid or password

neither could i use the "blocks" text-entry field, where i wanted to type: access to my accounts at wikimedia;

this form is a NIGHTMARE for anyone attempting to simply assist in the improvement of wikimedia, let alone use the damn thing

Version: unspecified
Severity: major



Event Timeline

bzimport raised the priority of this task from to High.Nov 21 2014, 9:49 PM
bzimport set Reference to bz10340.
bzimport added a subscriber: Unknown Object (MLST).

robchur wrote:

I've got to say, I was under the impression we'd be finding some alternatives to help out blind/partially-sighted people when we introduced CAPTCHAs, and so far, this hasn't happened.

ayg wrote:

Provisionally I would suggest 1) restricting the CAPTCHA to bots and sysops, and/or 2) not introducing it until perhaps three tries instead of one.

(As for the Bugzilla form, it sucks a bit, but it's from before those fancy Web 2.0 user-provided keywords, so you get a limited choice; and "Blocks" and "Depends on" require bug numbers, otherwise they're not much more use than just entering the info in the bug itself.)

*** Bug 4845 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

oedipus wrote:

there is currently a discussion of CAPTCHA best-practices and alternatives being conducted on the World Wide Web Consortium's wai-xtech public mailing list:

please check out what has transpired on wai-xtech over the past 2 months, and which continues, with participation from the reCAPTCHA project from CMU, representatives of other major implementors of CAPTCHA-type challanges, and please, by all means, join in the discussion -- the more minds, the better, and the collaborative nature of the discussion and attempts to build a better bot-trap mirrors the ethos of wikimedia.

  • This bug has been marked as a duplicate of bug 4845 ***