Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Gmail for Everyone

Since Google introduced Gmail to the public back in 2004, it has been an invitation only service. This meant that you either had to be invited by someone who was already using it or you could sign up using your mobile phone. If you wanted an account, you could give them your phone number and they would text message you a code and "invite" you to create an account. What a pain for blind and visually impaired people who can't read text messages on most cell phones!

Well, all of that is over now. Google has announced that anybody can get a Gmail account, no invitation required. Signing up for Gmail is now as easy as creating an account with, say, Hotmail or Yahoo! All you have to do is visit and create an account. You'll just need to fill in a couple pieces of information, agree to their terms and click on the "I accept. Create my account" button. You'll then be all set.

With your Gmail account, you will have 2 GB of space for your messages. You can also use Gmail to chat with other users, so be sure to tell all of your friends about this new and exciting discovery. One more thing: if you use Outlook Express or another desktop email client, you can still get your Gmail messages through that. Everything's covered here! So, either way you look at it, this is a great deal and now that everyone can take advantage of it, maybe you should too. Check it out!

1 comment:

fastfinge said...

You forgot to mention that google has to date refused to make most features of gmail accessible. When you log in by default, google offers a nearly completely inaccessible ajaxy interface that doesn't work at all with screen readers. If you switch to the simple view, you are no longer allowed to modify your account settings (display name, archiving, pop access, email forwarding, and more) in any way what so ever. To date, as is typical for google, they have shown no interest what so ever in fixing any of these problems. If you stick with the default ajax view and attempt to modify your settings, you will have little to no luck; the settings tabs are impossible to activate with a keyboard alone, the fields aren't correctly labeled, and the service is an overall disaster. While a highly experienced user could, maybe, modify gmail settings without sighted help, gmail is nothing like accessible.

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