Replacing captchas with audio questions makes the web more accessible

Captchas based on visual tasks often prevent people with disabilities from accessing the protected content. — Photo: Zacharie Scheurer/dpa

BERLIN: "Select all images with cars," the website asks you, showing a cluster of photos to choose from.

Or you might be ask to decipher a row of askew characters, another common test to determine whether the user is human.

Captchas – or Completely Automated Public Turing tests – are frequently used to prevent hackers from abusing online services with the help of bots.

While this method has indeed proven successful in preventing someone from hacking your account with hundreds of automated attempts, for example, it also prevents people with disabilities from accessing the protected service.

Without help, there is no way for blind or visually impaired users to solve a captcha, according to the German Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted (DBSV).

When creating a website or managing an existing one, you should therefore also add audio-based alternatives to make your content accessible to as many people as possible.

One possible option are audio captchas, meaning tasks that are read aloud. The answer can then be typed.

However, existing standard solutions are often available in English only or use distorted voices, which poses new problems for people with a hearing impairment or without foreign language skills, says the DBSV.

Instead, simple knowledge questions read out loud could be an option, says the DBSV, adding that the most important thing is to always provide alternatives for those with disabilities. – dpa

Article type: free
User access status:
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Tech News

Peacock streaming service has over 18 million global paid subscribers
Fintech Circle terminates $9 billion deal with Bob Diamond-backed SPAC
U.S. Supreme Court rejects Centripetal appeal in Cisco patent fight
Man in S’pore jailed over upskirt videos, including those of another man dressed in women’s clothes
Ghana's Swoove says set to deliver growth after startup contest
Police: Deputy in US posed as teen online to sexually extort girl
Russia is boosting its cyberattacks on Ukraine,�allies, Microsoft says
US police rarely deploy deadly robots to confront suspects
PM Anwar: Malaysia to review plans for 5G network
Female athletes in crosshairs for online abuse, according to World Athletics

Others Also Read