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Audio Eye

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From: Terrill Bennett
Date: Jun 27, 2010 8:09AM


Greetings,

It's a red-letter day for those with disabilities! There's a new,
patented technology available that "delivers an Internet service that
converts and indexes Internet content and automates multi-format
publishing so that everyone seeking Audio Eye enabled content can
access Internet content."

According to Audio Eye the new patented technology "effectively meets
required criteria and standards of Section 508 legislation and needs
of disabled, physically challenged, learning, hearing or visually
impaired, low vision, dyslexic, autistic, elderly, even internet
novices and mobile users."

That just about covers everyone, doesn't it? Perfect!

Now, for those who are truly visually impaired and rely on Assistive
Technology (AT), please copy/paste the following link into your
browser, SILENCE your screen reader or other AT software and put your
mouse away, and go learn about the new, patented technology directly
from Audio Eye:

http://www.audioeye.com

Wow! That was quite educational, wasn't it? Reminds me of an old
Simon & Garfunkel song.

I learned about this amazing technology from an article touting not
only the new technology, but that Congressman Raul M. Grijalva (D -
Arizona) has employed said technology on his official Congressional
website. Here's the article:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/united-states-congressional-website-adopts-patented-audio-eye-accessibility-technology-2010-06-09?reflink=MW_news_stmp
or: http://tinyurl.com/28wbfbl

Let's all go look at Congressman Raul M. Grijalva's website using
only the new technology. Again, make certain your screen reader/AT is
OFF before enjoying the technology at work:
http://grijalva.house.gov/

My brief analysis is:

1. You must be able to see the screen in some fashion and be able to
use a mouse or recognize that tabbing 7 times has placed focus onto
the Audio Eye link in order to initialize the technology. Seems the
site has turned off the dotted outlines on links that have focus in
both IE8 and Firefox 3.6.6, so I was forced to watch the status bar
in order to know when I was on the Audio Eye link - good luck!

2. If you wait long enough once the technology begins reading the
"links" to content, you eventually get a list of available action
keys. If it's your first use of the technology, you'll have no idea
what to do in order to activate content, move about, adjust the
volume, search, etc.

3. You'll need to memorize the keystrokes used to interact with the
technology VERY quickly - there's no "repeat the help" key that I can
hear. The only way I could hear the keystrokes a second time was to
sit and wait for it to loop. Of course, you get to hear the list of
content before the help, each time.

4. Meeting the requirements for being accessible doesn't mean the
site IS accessible-friendly.

In case you can't tell, I'm less than impressed. Am I daft, or is the
Congressman wasting our tax dollars? Is this an example of "Meet the
criteria, Fail the user." If this is an example of all that is
required for a site to technically conform to the standards, then I
fear conformance.

Your thoughts?

-- Terrill --