YouTube Comment Inaccessibility Rant

Aka a rant about using YouTube’s new commenting system with a screen reader – access technology that I use to use the computer. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to be blogging right now! It’s legit a necessity for me, and all blind computer users. There are 2 for Windows that are used – JAWS, the screen reader I used to use that is the price of a computer, and NVDA – a freeware screen reader that works the same (and sometimes better) than JAWS. I switched to NVDA a few months back after buying a new computer, and am a full-fledged convert! It’s so awesome to use, and has all the things JAWS had. And the best part? It’s free! I was on a really old version of JAWS that didn’t have all of the features that the newest version of JAWS had. When Windows updates, JAWS has to also because new hardware and software specifications usually equal new inaccessible sections of the OS. But NVDA? It just tells you when there’s an update, you download it and get all the nice new features. Bless the blind programmers that took their time to make this for a viable option as a screen reader for those of us who can’t afford JAWS, or Mac computers!

But my gushing aside, there is one thing that has been bugging me to no end. I’ve been becoming more active on YouTube – not just watching videos, but I’ve been wanting to comment on videos to become active in the community. Looks easy enough, right? Just click ‘Share your Thoughts’, the typing window opens, type and hit post! Right? Sounds so simple? Haaaa! Not for me!

It’s so frustrating: The way that YouTube has ‘Share Your Thoughts’ displayed isn’t like, as a link that would be easy to click. It’s some sort of imbedded text I can only assume? All I know is it’s the kind of text that my reader says is “clickable” then when I click it, nothing happens. Have to scroll up or down, because it likes to just turn into average text. Ok, I can deal with that. So I scroll up or down to get it to show as clickable, and…nothing! Maybe I’m not on the right section of the link…text…thing? So I move to the right so I’m somewhere in the sentence “Share your thoughts” and see if that works.

Haaaa!

YouTube won’t give me that, not at all! I have to mash my enter key, tab away from the window, and mess around with the stupid ‘Share your thoughts’ area for like twenty minutes before I can comment on a video! After I do it the first time, it seems to work with just one click after everything, but seriously YouTube? Why is it so hard for me to make commenting work? I just want to leave feedback on peoples videos!

I miss the good old days where the edit field for comments was just there along with the post button underneath. You got to go into the edit field, type your comment, and bam you were done! Why do you have to make everything look so “snazzy” at the cost of easy access for EVERYONE Google? You tend to do that, a lot! It’s sooo frustrating! I just want to comment in peace, is that so much to ask?

Ugh I can go on so many inaccessible technology rants. Don’t get me started on audio mixing, and composing software – some of the worst culprits’ of inaccessibility for the sake of a nice looking visual design. We’re lucky to have companies like Apple, Pro Tools and Amazon who keeps everything accessible for us blind users. But companies like Google, Adobe (the worst company with this in my opinion) and sooo many others need to get it together for this sector of the market that gets so frustrated with having to download software, see if it works and if (or usually when) it doesn’t work, uninstalling and going back to the drawing board.

That went into more than just YouTube comments 😄 but this has been bugging me for a while now and just had to get it out there! Do any blind users have any tips for YouTube commenting? I’d love to get any help with this – it’s been driving me crazy!

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Author: Crystal

A California based musician who is as passionate about music as she is video games,, Crystal (or ValkyrieCeles around the interwebs) loves to gush about her various nerdtastic loves, rant about anything currently catching her fancy, and generally just express herself in any creative outlet she can get her hands on. An avid reader, writer, and dreamer, Crystal has been leaving pieces of herself around the internet since 2006.

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