WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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Alternatives for the CAPTCHA


From: Randi
Date: Mar 23, 2009 4:50PM

I've been thinking about this, and I understand the point of these
things as keeping spammers from using computers to log in to things
and do havoc. Since I am not versed in how these computers do things,
I'm not sure how my idea would work.

At first I thought of the question idea. Asking, What color is grass?
And having the user type the answer. But could a computer figure this

Then I thought, ok, ask the question, What color is grass? And then
have a pop up menu with "no selection" being the default setting, and
then having "green" to select. Could a computer get around that?

Then I thought, why not make this a hidden option for screenreader
users? You could hide the content and put it right before the captcha.
Have it ask the question and either provide a text field, or a pop up
window. Now, can computers read hidden content? I mean the computers
used for spam purposes?

If something like this could work, you could even have an option for
"new question" just in case someone didn't know the color of grass.
They could even be fun questions, like, What sound does a cat make?
And they'd select "meow" or "hiss".

If nothing was selected in the pop up, the account would not be
processed. Would something like this work? I like the hidden content
idea for screenreader users to use, but it wouldn't clutter the site.
Or heck, sighted people hate captchas too.

Just a thought.

I'm not disabled, my eyes are. ;)