Thursday, July 27, 2006

Accessible Googlbility

Google Labs (bless 'em) has created itself a new alternative search engine, returning only results of sites that are deemed "accessible".

Accessible Search was an early Google Labs product designed to identify and prioritize search results that are more easily usable by blind and visually impaired users. I was starting to wonder what had happened to it.

When, a case makes it to court under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) the W3C accessibility guidelines are used to assess a website's accessibility and ultimately decide the outcome of the case. The W3C is the Internet governing body and its web accessibility guidelines can be found on its website. I dont know how Google will measure whether a site is accessible or not. Lets hope we don't end-up with some crazy half-arse double standards.

Double standards? Google? Surely not. Anyway, the FAQ about his new feature is

Interestingly, this week, I noticed an online petition being circulated around that was collecting signatures to get Google to make its word verification scheme (capcha) accessible to the blind and visually impaired.

'Bout time. This is an important audience that loves to shop online ;-)

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