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An Open Letter to Real Audio

by Claude Needham Ph.D.

It shouldn't come as any surprise that a software package designed to deliver streaming audio over the internet would be a great boon to the visually-impaired.

What better way to access audio content than streaming audio? So, it is a no-brainer to figure Real Audio to be a major resource for the visually-impaired on the internet.

Because of this I think it falls upon real.com to bring itself into a blind-friendly form.

At the moment the Real Audio website flunks the Bobby Test. However, with only a minor amount of work this can be turned around completely.

It is very easy to design pages that look great and work well for the sighted and also work well for the screen-readers used by the blind. Or, as some do, Real Audio may choose to develop alternate webpages for text-based browsers that don't support frames.

In either case, because of the special value that Real Audio has for the blind, Real Audio is more obligated to make the efforts necessary to bring the real.com website into a blind-friendly form.

We invite Real Audio to become a participant in A.C.E.

With a small amount of work, we're sure that Real Audio could become a four-star A.C.E. Award winner.

Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help this process. For some websites becoming blind-friendly might be an option. We don't see that as an option for Real Audio. The service Real Audio provides is too important for them to not feel obliged to become blind-friendly.

A.C.E. Awards

P.S. We'd be happy to volunteer consulting time and talent to help your webmasters come into compliance. This process is one of learning, and we'd be only too happy to share the little bit we've picked up with those that need it.

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