Telstra ditches CAPTCHAs in name of accessibility

Telco also launches portal to help people with disabilities select a mobile device

Telstra has removed the use of CAPTCHAs as an anti-spam system from its website the telco confirmed tonight. The announcement comes ahead of a self-imposed 30 September deadline the telco set itself at the end of last year.

Telstra Consumer managing director, Karsten Wildberger, made the announcement at the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network’s conference in Sydney.

ACCAM has condemned CAPTCHA systems for making websites inaccessible to visual-impaired and blind users.

In Telstra’s 6th Disability Action Plan, released in December, the company said it would do away with the use of the system designed to weed out bots.

Wildberger also announced a new online portal for people with disabilities that will help identify appropriate mobile devices; for example, devices that support features for vision-impaired users.

“We want all our customers to have a brilliant experience with us, and helping them find the devices and apps that best meet their needs is fundamental to that,” Wildberger said.

The Telstra Consumer MD also said that open captions had been added to more than a dozen movies available for rental through BigPond.

“We plan to increase the number of titles with open captions over time, until the technical capacity that will enable closed captions to be offered across all platforms is completed.”

Follow Rohan on Twitter: @rohan_p

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