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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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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Website Accessibility with CaptchaKiller

Have you ever visited a website and been asked to fill out a CAPTCHA? What's a CAPTCHA you ask? Well, its a funny, blurry, textual image that prevents robots from automating the web. People who are blind or visually impaired can't see the image, and can't use the website. Screen reading technology can't tell them what letters and numbers they need to complete the CAPTCHA because the box is an image, leaving them locked out of the site.

I recently heard about a website called and immediately went to check it out. With a name like that, I had high hopes that it would allow me to get around all the CAPTCHAs that are popping up everywhere. I can honestly say that if you ever need to use a site that requires CAPTCHAs, you will love this site.

"CAPTCHA Killer is 100% focused on increasing accessibility on the Internet. CAPTCHA Killer can be used to automatically translate an image into the underlying text. (CAPTCHA Killer may only be used in accordance with the Terms Of Service of each website, please read their agreements.)"

The first thing you will have to do is sign up for an account. On the home page, they have a lot of forum posts and comments, but if you look for the create an account link, you should have no problems at all.

Once you have an account, you can upload those bothersome captchas, and the site will process them for you. I had a little trouble at first, but once you realize what they want, it's fairly straight forward. Here's step by step instructions for using the site:

  1. Open MS-Word or some word processor like Wordpad.
  2. Go to the site that has the captcha.
  3. Find the exact page that has the captcha, and copy the url that's in the address bar to an empty document.
  4. Find the captcha image on the page, and right click on it.
  5. Choose the save picture as option and save it to your hard drive.
  6. On the captchakiller site, choose the upload captcha link.
  7. Paste the page URL (in your document) into the URL field of the CaptchaKiller site.
  8. Hit the browse button on the CaptchaKiller page and find the file you saved on your computer.
  9. After hitting open on the file, hit the submit button on the CaptchaKiller page.
  10. Choose the view CAPTCHAs link on the page, and find the most recently uploaded one. It should be the one at the top.
  11. When you go through the table you'll see your result, beside it is what you have to type in to complete the CAPTCHA.

This may sound a little complicated, but it isn't so bad once you get used to doing it. I'm not saying it's a solution to all our CAPTCHA problems, but it sure beats getting sighted help every time you need a CAPTCHA interpreted.

A helpful hint is to keep the CaptchaKiller site, and the site you want the CAPTCHA for, opened at the same time. That way, you can get the CAPTCHA processed quickly and enter it on the site before it expires.

Click this link to visit

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Coolest! site! ever!! Captchas are annoying, this makes signing up for sites, and commenting on blogs easier.

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