Friday, July 21, 2006

Google launches Accessibility Search

Accessability for all ...

"Google recently launched yet another new product. This one is actually a search tool (a departure from their stream of recent non-search related product launches).

Google’s Accessible Search site is a search interface for Google that returns pages that are ranked by how accessible the pages are to blind/visually impaired users. You can read more about this on their FAQ page.

So, is this a good thing? Well, if you are blind, and depend on a screen reader, then yes, this is a nice addition to your web surfing tool kit.

From a philosophical standpoint, however, I think Google missed the mark.

First of all, they’re falling into the all-to-common habit of defining ‘accessibility’ as being solely an issue of sight impairment. Which, of course, is hardly the case. Granted, Google, as a spider, probably can’t do much to analyze other accessibility issues. However, they shouldn’t have slapped the term ‘accessibility’ on the tool and should have chosen a more descriptive term such as ’screen reader friendly’ or the like."   (Continued via MNteractive)       [Usability Resources]

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