Google Accessibility!

Accessibility Advocacy
Hey Listers, I am asking for your assistance. I have started a petition on Change .Org for Google Accessibility. I started this petition because Google declared to the world they were dedicated to Accessibility. However; their actions do not reflect this statement. Of course browsers and email are accessible. This is a requirement by law. That's where the dedication ends. I'm including some examples. The first example is Google +. If you have ever looked at the app; there are many links and buttons which aren't clearly labeled. The useability is pretty much non existent. For those who have tried an Android device; its not Google that provides the majority of accessibility. It's 3rd party developers and apps. You could spend a whole day trying to find an adequate way to get a task done. Of course; this is because you must find work arounds. I don't know why any blind individual would choose Android at this point. Its not like Apple software which just works out of the box. The last example is the new Hangouts app. It falls into the same category as Google +. Links and buttons aren't clearly labeled. The useability again is lacking. Please take a moment to sign the petition. Tell Google to live up to the promise of accessibility in their products. More importantly; tell them the disabled community is not a second -class society. Thank you for your help! Google Petition: Regards, JP



Submitted by Scottsdale on Saturday, May 18, 2013

No disrespect intended because it's obvious that you're trying to do the right thing, but to me, the petition reads at best like a blog post. It's too ranty, nowhere near pragmatic enough, and frankly inaccurate in places. I'm not defending Google in the slightest here and I'm in full agreement that it would be great if they'd take a consistent approach to accessibility, but I'll eat my pants (British definition) if this is the thing that causes it to happen. Sorry man, but I won't be signing this one.

Submitted by Fleurppel on Saturday, May 18, 2013

While I am unhappy with the route Google accessibility as a whole has taken, I cannot sign this petition in its current form. As the comment above points out, this focuses more on opinion than fact, and it is too emotionally charged. This is not to discourage your pashion, because that is an important element in bringing about change, just a call for it to be reigned in. If I were a Google employee, my first impression of you and those who signed would be that you are too demanding, and that pleasing you would cost more than it would benefit. Having said that, if this petition were redone to reflect appropriate objectivity and reasonability, I would be more than happy to sign.

Submitted by Bryan Jones on Saturday, May 18, 2013

Frustrated Users of Google's apps and services might also want to consider posting accessibility issues to the Google Group titled "Accessible." You can find and join that group by searching the web for the words "google group accessible." The group's membership includes a number of folks from Google's Accessibility Team. Unlike the Accessibility Teams at some other companies, google's folks often take the time to answer questions or concerns and to dialog publicly on issues. While I share some of JP's frustrations with the status of accessibility in Google's apps and services, I cannot in good conscience sign the petition in it's current form due to the inclusion of several innaccurate statements and overgeneralities. -Bryan

Submitted by Lisa on Saturday, May 18, 2013

In reply to by Scottsdale

While I agree that a lot of google's products are not accessible enough, I'm going to have to disagree with you on the android. The newest phones are accessible right out of the box, now that google has implemented their explore by touch features. The problem is, a lot of the cell carriers don't carry phones with the newest google operating system on them. Another issue is that when a company produces an android phone, i.e. Motorola Samsung etc., they often change the stock google android apps. So, it's mostly the production companies that are breaking accessibility. With the new operating system, the stock android apps are accessible, right out of the box. I do agree that Apple's accessibility is better, but I still don't think it's fair to say android is not accessible.

Sorry but while your intentions are clearly good, there is no way that I can sign this petition. It's overly aggressive, inaccurate and just doesn't represent my views. You talk about accessibility and people with disabilities generally, but only really acknowledge or discuss blindness issues. That's ok but needs to be acknowledged. It's just not true that only browsers and email from Google are accessible with screen-readers. I have a Nexus 7 and while I don't find it as polished as iOS, and so rarely use it, Android 4.2 is certainly accessible out of the box. I'm frustrated too when I try to use apps like Hangouts, but I think your accusations are a bit strong and definitely too emotionally charged. If the inaccuracies and sweeping statements are fixed and it's a bit more professionally written, I'll happily sign and spread the word. Best o' luck.

Submitted by Santiago on Monday, May 20, 2013

In reply to by Dave Nason

Although some information written on the petition is incorrect, as others have said, I still signed the petition. I don't have an Android device, nor I plan on getting one any time soon. The Google iOS apps aren't as accessible either. I can't even search for people on Google Hang Outs with out the app crashing when using it with VoiceOver!