Regarding the Accessibility of Social Networking Websites for Blind Users

WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind of California is a State affiliate of the nations Largest organization of blind persons which has a membership of more than 50,000 blind individuals; and
WHEREAS, social networking sites are no longer just a means to keep in touch with friends but are also Used for advertisements, companies connecting with people and employers, and even political participation; and

WHEREAS, through the use of social networking websites the National Federation of the Blind of California communicates with and informs itís membership, builds a stronger membership base, educates the general public and advocates for the blind across the nation and around the world; and

WHEREAS, through the use of social networks professional blind workers can mentor Students and assist in reducing the 75% unemployment rate that exists in the working aged blind population; and

WHEREAS, through the use of social networking sights the National Federation of the blind of California can promote itís core philosophy of self confidence and self respect for all blind individuals; and

WHEREAS, with increasing opportunities and technological advances greater numbers of blind people than ever before utilize the internet; and

WHEREAS, blind citizens like the rest of the population use social networking sites on a regular basis to participate as equals in the constantly growing electronic society; and

WHEREAS, new enhancements to social networking sites such as Capcha cause accessibility problems for blind and visually impaired users who must rely on voice screen reading software; and

WHEREAS, these website enhancements can result in inadvertent exclusion of blind persons from participation in faceBook MySpace and other internet Social Networking communities; and

WHEREAS, Excluding blind people from this increasingly important segment of society is a disservice to the blind community and also impedes the ability of others who use these sites to connect with this large community: Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of California in convention assembled on this 16th day of October, 2008, in the city of Irvine, California, that the National Federation of the Blind of CaliforniaShall distribute this resolution to all social networking sites and attempt to create a cooperative dialog between them and blind users; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Federation of the Blind of California shall establish a technology committee to maintain the ongoing dialogue with FaceBook and MySpace as well as other social networking sites if needed; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the technology committee shall document and define screen reading user problems encountered when using social networking sites; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this committee shall propose solutions to FaceBook, MySpace, and other social networking sites; and

Be it further resolved that the technology committee shall keep the membership apprised of all developments regarding social networking sites and efforts being made to keep them accessible to all blind users.