Accessibility Nightmare

Ever had your shift key stuck? Get your machine into a state where no matter what you do, the shift key is effectively pressed and now you can’t access non-shifted keys? Wonder how anyone can ship such horrible software?

The answer is bugs in a system of windows called “accessibility”. You can access it from the control panel if you are curious, but nobody ever does, because its only used by about 3 people worldwide. But legally, it has to exist, because some do-gooder politician thought it was a good idea.

I just had the awful experience where my shift key got stuck. It just wouldn’t unstick – no lower case, no unshifted keys would work. And it was just a software bug. The only way out was once again, to reboot my machine. Going to the Accessibility Area in the control panel, allegedly Accessibility was not on. But this all occurred after I accidentally pressed the shift-key for about 8 seconds, and then the accessibility crap kicked in.

Hoping I had an explanation? I don’t. Its just buggy buggy buggy.

So here is a question for you- how does software that renders half of your keyboard useless help handicapped people? Does it? I’d love to hear from ANYONE that uses the accessibility features and couldn’t use their machine without the feature. What would happen if we didn’t have the law? Would machines really be harder to use?

I’m betting this is a case where a law was passed with good intent, but no realistic way to solve the problem. Software writers don’t use or need the accessibility features, so they spend as little time as possible to meet the “minimum” requirements. Handicapped people are left with machines that have ‘accessibility’, but don’t really work anyway, and they need to augment their machines with special-purpose software that really does the job right anyway. In the end, we’re left with yet-another-law, broken software, and a whole lot of wasted time.

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