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, August 29, 2011

No Way to Verify

by Donna J. Jodhan

We are living in an information society and a knowledge based economy where one heavily depends on the other. Without information we are nowhere and without knowledge gathered from information we are unable to make decisions of any kind. So, just imagine not being able to make vital decisions because we are unable to verify the relevant information.

Does this circumstance really exist? Indeed, it surely does and it is the case for millions of blind, sight impaired, and deaf/blind persons worldwide. Why does this circumstance exist? Well, it all has to do with the inability of blind, sight impaired, and deaf/blind persons not being able to verify online information. Why is this? Because a lot of the information is inaccessible to these persons in alternate formats and more often than not, they need to depend on a sighted person to read it to them. This means that there is no mechanism for these persons to verify the information because they are unable to read it for themselves.

What does all of this mean? It means that without any dependable way of verification, blind, sight impaired, and deaf/blind persons are practically held to ransom so to speak. They are unable to verify information and accordingly they are unable to make safe and sound decisions for themselves. It's something like this: If you are unable to read something for yourself it only goes to say that you really cannot verify it. So then what's next? A call for information to be produced in alternate formats in a timely manner.

What is meant by the term alternate formats? In Braille, large print, and in e text format; that is, HTML, TXT, Word, RTF, and PDF that is appropriately tagged so that screen readers can decipher them.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate 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.