Blogger/Blogspot has an inaccessible comment mode


Arguably the biggest reason I can blog now is my iPod touch. It allows me not only to communicate in words in the offline world while lying down (impossible otherwise), thereby potentially saving my life. But it also allows me to blog and read blogs while lying down. Despite its inaccessibiloty in other areas, it is nearly perfect for someone with my particular skills and difficulties.

But then there is this new commenting mode for blogger. No matter which option I choose, if I am on my iPod I get an error. It’s the one with the pulldown menu and is the bane of my online existence. I am totally unable to comment on blogs that use it.

Taking a Third Option is one of several blogs I follow that use the evil comment mode.

Existence is Wonderful uses the most convenient of the several other options I can use. (Convenient because it doesn’t require me to be logged into blogger, which is nearly impossible ever since Google took over Blogger thereby meaning it is linked to my gmail accounts and makes life a huge hassle.)

Ones that require I log into something are somewhere in between. Because I could technically do it but inertia being what it is, don’t hold your breath. But unlike the evil comment mode, those are at least theoretically possible. I generally use the Name/URL format.

But I figured I should at least let people know of the accessibility headache that one comment mode creates for anyone who might for whatever reason find using the iPod their best bet at being online at all. Which probably includes lots of people who like me have the motor skills to use one but are frequently horizontal.

About Mel Baggs

I am a highly sensing person. I am a child of earth and water, I was born into a redwood forest and I left the forest but it never left me. I'm 34 as I wrote this. If I had an alignment like in role-playing games and MUDs, I'd be chaotic good all the way: I don't think it's possible to fill ethics into a moral code, the world is far too complex for that. I let the world be complex and chaotic and try to respond situation by situation from a small number of principles of right and wrong. My responses may seem to contradict each other, but that will be because either the situation has changed, or I have changed. I am a poet who is trying to practice more every day, hence the poetry blog. I am a cat lover and live with a wonderful elderly cat. I am a painter when I have the time, energy, and resources. I have multiple cognitive, physical, developmental, and psychiatric disabilities, and my health is not usually stable. Put all together, I'd be considered severely disabled. I get a lot of assistance throughout the day. I am a real living cyborg, part human part machine: I have a GJ feeding tube to feed me through one tube and drain my stomach through the other,, an InterStim implant for urinary retention, and a port (a permanent central IV line). I love life. I think Love (not the sentimental emotion, but the property of the world) is the most important thing that human beings can offer each other. Being near death enough times has taught me that, and has also taught me that I have no time for bullies or pettiness. I'm involved in disabilty rights and other causes that people these days would call 'social justice', but I don't consider myself part of the 'SJ community' or the 'anti-SJ community' because of that thing I said about pettiness -- they're more about one-upmanship than fixing the world. I wish they had not taken over the words 'social justice', which used to mean something else. I love talking to just ordinary people about fixing the world, they have far more realistic ideas and more likelihood of putting them into practice. I'm a Hufflepuff to the core, with some Gryffindor tendencies and even a little bit of Ravenclaw. I admire some Slytherins but I don't have much ambition or cunning at all. I still think the Slytherin common room is second best, with Hufflepuff coming first. My favorite color is brown, especially when combined with a bit of yellow or blue. My favorite music is country, and my favorite country artists are Kathy Mattea, Lacy J. Dalton, Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge, Merle Haggard, and Loretta Lynn. I don't like most new country but i occasionally hear something on the radio I like. At an early age, my family listened to country almost exclusively to the point where I thought all the different types of country were all the different types of music! I couldn't put Lacy J. Dalton, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, and Kris Kristofferson in the same category. Although now that I've grown up I can hear that they are all country, but as a kid my ear was trained more for minute differences in country styles, than for recognizing country from other types of music. Country isn't all I like. Some other bands and artists I like: The Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, Rasputina, Jefferson Airplane, The Beatles, Rich Mullins (I'm not Christian but some Christian music is amazing), ), The Raventones/T.R. Kelley, Planet P Project/Tony Carey, Sinead Lohan, Donna Williams, Suzanne Vega, Phideaux, and Jethro Tull, to name a few. I love the Cocteau Twins in particular because they are everything being sensing is about: Words are chosen for their sound, not their meaning, the voice becomes yet another instrument rather than a conveyor of words, raw emotion pours out of them, there are layers upon layers, and they were around for long enough there's lots of their music in a variety of different styles -- including their later stuff where the words have more meaning than just sounds. Each period in their music has its benefits and drawbacks but I love them all, or nearly so. Their music comes as close as any music can come to conveying how I experience the world, as what Donna Williams calls 'pattern, form, and feel'. And Elizabeth Fraser has a beautiful voice, I once had a teenage crush on her. As I type this, I have a cat sitting on my shoulder, cheek to cheek with me, peering around and occasionally rubbing me. My relationship to her goes back 15 years to when she was six months old, and we've rarely been parted since. It's been an honor to watch her grow into a wise but crotchety old lady cat. She knows she's technically older than me and tells me so sometimes, especially during arguments. She has trouble with the fact that there are parts of the human world I know better than she does. She sees me as her big, dumb kitten who needs protecting, and is beside herself with worry if I end up in the hospital (which seems to happen frequently these days). I don't experience myself as having a gender identity, I call it being genderless. You'll sometimes see the pronouns sie and hir in my work, they are gender-neutral pronouns pronounced 'see' and 'hear'. I was raised female, which gives me both disadvantages (outside the trans community) and advantages (inside the trans community). You don't have to remember my pronouns, lots of people have trouble with gender-neutral pronouns. I won't be upset with you. People make mistakes, and some people just can't get the hang of new words, and that's okay. I have vocabulary problems myself (mostly comprehension), I'm not going to penalize other people for having vocabulary problems of their own. Right now my father is dying of cancer that's metastatized so many places they can't figure out where it started, my mother has severe myasthenia gravis that can land her in the ICU (and she's my father's primary caretaker), my "second mother" (who took over when I grew up and my family didn't know how to prepare me for the world) has endometrial cancer, and my cat is getting old. All of this is bringing death to the forefront of my mind and my poetry. In fact I think I've been able to write more poetry because of all the feelings about so many people dying or with precarious health. It was easier to handle when it was me that was going to die (averted by diagnosis and treatment of severe adrenal insufficiency that'd been going on for years). It's harder when it's someone else, someone you love. My other hobby is crocheting, and a lot of the time if I'm not writing, it'll be hard to find me without a crochet hook or occasional knitting needles in my hands. I love to be able to make things. I have been making hats and scarves with spare yarn (which I have a lot of), and putting them in City Hall Park wrapped in plastic, with notes saying "If you're cold, take this." I know what it's like to be cold in the winter, and if anyone takes them and stays warm I'd be overjoyed. You may have noticed I'm long-winded. This is actually the result of a language disability that makes it difficult for me to leave out details, to see two almost-identical things as perhaps something that doesn't need repeating, and to summarize or condense down my writing. I know this is a flaw in my writing, and it even prevents me from reading it sometimes, but I've found no solutions. Sometimes on my longer posts I'll put a "TL;DR" ("too long; didn''t read") summary at the end in bold letters for people to skip down to.. But even those don't feel adequate, even when I can do theme, which is not always. I think I'm getting better though. Learning haiku and other short poetry forms helps me condense my words better. Anyway, I hope that gives you enough idea of who I am. At my most basic, I care about Love more than anything (whenever I come near enough to death, I feel like I get asked the question "Did you Love, and did you express that Love properly?"), but like everyone I get sidetracked into things that are much less important. I try to make my writing an expression of Love. Sometimes I succeed.

11 responses »

  1. Yeah, I changed my comment mode when someone on a mailing list brought up accessibility issues on another site. I used to disallow anonymous comments because I did not want to deal with spam (or with people potentially leaving anonymous harassment messages) but when I learned that this policy made it impossible for some people to comment, I figured it was worth doing a bit more work in the moderation department if it made my blog more accessible for legitimate commenters.

    And, really, while the spam is annoying it is also pretty manageable. I get email notifications whenever anyone comments, so I know if I’ve been spammed, so I can quickly delete the spam. (And I would do the same with any trolling or harassing comments).

    I also learned a VERY useful thing from someone else who uses Blogger (can’t recall who, maybe it was at Biodiverse Resistance?) which is that you can set it to require approval for comments on posts over X days old. I have mine set to 60 days, I think, which seems to work well for me as that way if I get a bunch of spam on older posts I can go and reject all of it as a group on the moderation page. But at the same time, it does not interrupt the flow of discussion on more recent posts which are more likely to be getting comments from live, non-spammer humans. If I had to I would turn on moderation / approval mode for all posts but so far my current system seems to be working fine.

  2. The 64th edition of the disability blog carnival is now up and ready for submissions. Our theme is breaking down stereotypes: if you could break down one single stereotype, which would it be and why?

    If you can’t pick one, you can do several if you wish……

    Just letting you know in case you’re interested and have energy and spoons to write something about it.

  3. I have tried even three or four times at a go, and just the error over and over. I have given up trting because it wastes brain I could spend writing something else. Hopefully Safari will get a new version or something but until then I am stuck.

  4. Being unaware of the problem before reading this post, I promptly went over to my blog and checked the comment form… which does use the format that you can’t access. Any idea on how to change that?

    If I can figure out a way to get it to use a more accessable format for comments, I will.

  5. Yes, that comment mode sucks indeed. It hardly works with my braille display/screen reader either. Unfortunately an increasing number of Blogger users are using that mode.

  6. Pingback: The Blind Buzz on Accessibility « The Blind Buzz

  7. Pingback: The Blind Buzz on Accessibility « AccessTech News

  8. Pingback: The Blind Buzz on Accessibility « The BAT Channel

  9. AnneC: it was Lindsay (of Autist’s Corner), in a comment at my blog. I’ve found it incredibly useful for dealing with the amount of spam that sems to have been around recently.

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