blog post

I would like to thank everyone who has visited this site for their encouragement.

As of Saturday, March 25, 2007, apparent changes to the WordPress programming interface make it impossible for me to use the site indendently.

In order for a blind person like me to interact with a computer, software such as JAWS is used to convert material on-screen into synthetic speech. I can’t use a mouse to point and click to accomplish tasks; I use keyboard commands instead.

For instance, to click on a link on a Web page, a sighted person points their mouse at it and clicks the mouse. The desired page appears.

I, on the other hand, navigate to the link using the arrow keys on the keyboard, then press “Enter” to bring up the page.

This usually works fine, and I can do just about everything a sighted computer user can using my keyboard.

However, beginning Saturday, whenever I tried to use the WordPress sites, I was taken to pages I hadn’t clicked on, and I have been unable to post at all to this blog.

I thought it was a problem with my own JAWS software. But I have visited many other Websites without difficulty and the computer has behaved normally.

Thinking it was a problem specific to my blog, I went to other blogs I normally visit, but I had the same problems.

The reason I chose WordPress as my blog-hosting site was because it was extremely easy, after the initial set-up, for me to manage my blog independently as a blind person.

However, this is no longer the case. My husband Ted is gracious enough to post this for me (since the site works perfectly fine as long as you’re using a mouse to do things!).

I appreciate programmers’ desires to make their product better and easier to use, especially when it is used by hundreds of thousands of people. But in attempts to improve something, I wish more consideration would be given to the small but significant number of users who access computer software in ways other than the normal, visual, mouse-centric way.

I have enjoyed keeping this blog and have learned a lot in the process. I’ve also met some very interesting people and read some wonderful writing.

But a blog should be something an individual does on his or her own. If I need to go through a middleman (I.E., my sighted husband) to do something I used to be able to do without assistance, even if he’s willing to act as the go-between, then are the changes really beneficial?

In the opinion of this blind user, no.

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9 Comments on “blog post”

  1. tobeme Says:

    I am so sorry to hear that you cannot effectively use this blog. I hope that you can find a solution. Your wisdom would be missed.

  2. ombudsben Says:

    Stephanie,

    A few times I’ve run in to troubles with wordpress and their tech support has been helpful.

    Have you contacted them with your issues?

  3. Stephanie Pieck Says:

    Tobeme,

    Well, this morning the link works … now let’s see if this comment shows up or not! Thanks for your kind words; my husband has agreed to post things I write occasionally if I can’t get this to work. But also, I probably won’t post as often now with recitals and composing work coming up.


  4. Ombudsben,

    Thanks for the suggestion; we’ll see how things go. So far this morning, so good … Thanks for your visits and comments.

  5. Desktopjunk Says:

    Thanks, always good posts on your blog!


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    Just as a whim, I tried replying to some comments, and … it works! Now, the next thing is to try posting again …

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