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.

(See the end of this page for subscribing via email, RSS, browsing articles by subject, blog archive, APH resources, writing for Fred's Head, and disclaimers.)


Monday, November 09, 2009

The Blind Are More Exposed to Identity Theft

by Donna J. Jodhan

I am making this observation because, as a blind person, I can see where this particular group is one of the most vulnerable when it comes to identity theft. True it is that seniors and persons with other types of disabilities run a very close second, but please allow me to explain a bit further.

As a person with precious little vision, I have to depend on my sighted family and friends to help me navigate through mounds of paper and generated forms and when it comes to filling out those cumbersome online forms that's a whole new ball game.

Each time I need to complete hard copy forms, it means that I have no choice but to share personal and confidential information with someone else and it means that I have to trust that person to keep my information private and confidential. I have to trust that the information I give is what is going to be written down exactly as I wish it to be and that the person completing information on my behalf will not copy that information on a separate piece of paper for their later use. In addition, I have to trust that the person reading the information to me is reading exactly what is there and not reading something else that they may choose to make up.

When it comes to completing those cumbersome and complicated online forms, I have to depend on either my screen reader software to tell me exactly what is being required or if that is not possible, I have to depend on sighted assistance. At the present time, screen reader software still faces many challenges when it comes to being able to decipher the contents of forms and why is this? Because many website developers do not take the time to ensure that the forms have been designed to be accessible and usable. Just think of it in this way: If sighted persons have difficulty completing forms online then the challenge for someone who is blind or visually impaired becomes twice or thrice as difficult.

So, the picture is this: If I am unable to complete forms on my own then I need to depend on a person with sight to help me and then I have to place complete trust in that person to read accurately to me and write accurately for me. This puts me in a very vulnerable position and opens me up to identity theft. There is a growing demand for forms to be provided in alternate formats and what this means is this: Forms need to be provided in a format whereby blind and visually impaired persons will be able to read and complete their own forms independently. If you would like to learn more about alternate formats, click this link: This Canadian-based company provides alternate formats to those who are print-disabled which include the blind and visually impaired.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan, an accessibility and special needs business consultant wishing you a terrific day. If you'd like to learn more about me, then you can visit some of my blog spots at:
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all:
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility:
blogs on various issues and answers to consumers concerns:

No comments:

Subscribe to receive posts via email

* indicates required

Browse Articles by Subject

Follow us on Twitter


Write for us

Your input and support in the evolution of Fred's Head are invaluable! Contact us about contributing original writing or for suggestions for updating existing articles. Email us at


The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) makes every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the Fred's Head articles; however, APH makes no warranty, guarantee, or promise, expressed or implied, concerning the content or accuracy of the information provided in Fred's Head. APH does not endorse any technique, product, device, service, organization, or other information presented in Fred's Head, other than products and services directly offered by APH.

The products produced by the American Printing House for the Blind are instructional/teaching materials and are intended to be used by trained professionals, parents, and other adults with children who are blind and visually impaired. These materials are not intended as toys for use by children in unstructured play or in an unsupervised environment.

The information and techniques contained in Fred's Head are provided without legal consideration (free-of-charge) and are not warranted by APH to be safe or effective. All users of this service assume the risk of any injury or damage that may result from the use of the information provided.

Information in Fred's Head is not intended as a substitute for professional advice or treatment. Consult your physician before utilizing information regarding your health that may be presented on this site. Consult other professionals as appropriate for legal, financial, and related advice.

Fred's Head articles may contain links to other websites. APH is not responsible for the content of these sites.

Fred's Head articles created by APH staff are (C) copyright American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. You must request permission from APH to reprint these articles. Email to request permission.

Any submissions to Fred's Head should be free of copyright restrictions and should be the intellectual property of the submitter. By submitting information to Fred's Head, you are granting APH permission to publish this information.

Fair Use Notice: This website may contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright holder(s). This site is operated on the assumption that using this information constitutes 'fair use' of said copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law.

Opinions appearing in Fred's Head records are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Printing House for the Blind.