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Top Tech Tidbits. The Week's News in Access Technology. Masthead logo includes title as well as five photos, a blind man with a white cane wearing dark sunglasses talking and listening to his mobile phone, a woman with sandy brown to blonde hair wearing a hearing aid, finger tips feeling braille dots on a refreshable braille display, a man making the sign for

 

 

 

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Dear ChatGPT: We Want Those Buttons Labeled!

Released: 6/8/2023


Author: Lena Hinkle, Reader, Top Tech Tidbits


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ChatGPT logo.


Hello everyone. My name is Lena and I am a long time Top Tech Tidbits reader and retired teacher who is passionate about braille.

I had recently been conversing with your Publisher, Aaron Di Blasi, regarding ChatGPT and blind users when I discovered, to my amazement, that the buttons on the https://chat.openai.com/ website, were not properly labeled for screen readers.

Below is an outline of my experience in trying to contact OpenAI about the unlabeled buttons on the https://chat.openai.com/ website, which I enjoy using even though the unlabeled buttons diminish my efficiency.

Because I could find no contact information on the OpenAI or ChatGPT website, I did a search and learned that there is a speech bubble button to contact them. (A bot, not a human!) After clicking several unlabeled buttons, I got help from an AIRA agent. I tabbed, and she read the screen so I could get to the correct button, which responded to keyboard input. I thanked her and resumed on my own.

I had to choose from a list which included options like billing, chat, api, and other. Nothing seemed to relate to accessibility so I chose other.

The message is a shift+tab from the emoji picker. I asked how I could contact the accessibility team. "I can't seem to find any information that relates to your question."

So, I asked who could label the unlabeled buttons on the https://chat.openai.com/ website. Same answer as above.

Then, I chose chat instead of other from the list of choices. I said that I liked using ChatGPT, and that I use the screen readers JAWS and NVDA. Could someone at OpenAI please label all of the buttons so that screen reader users could know what they are? Same answer as above.

(I'm not sure if knowledge or creative thinking was failing me here, but I wasn't giving up!!!) Next, I asked if there was a department that coded for accessibility? Same answer followed by a suggestion that I search the help page. No results there; I had already looked, but to make the bot happy, I looked again. The bot was sorry, and I was now getting hungry for lunch. But I wasn't giving up!!!

This time I chose "API" from the list. I summarized the accessibility issue again, and the bot gave me the first answer with an addition: You should contact our team?

I asked how to do that and was sent to the help page. To satisfy the bot, I searched, found nothing, clicked the frownie emoji and waited. (This whole exchange had taken about an hour. I was frustrated, but I was not giving up!)

Then, magic happened. The bot told me how to submit a bug report, suggested I include a screen capture, and opened the form. I wrote a detailed report, included a screen capture, told them how to get and test with NVDA, offered to volunteer for testing and reminded them how much I like ChatGPT and how I use it.

Clicked the send button and got a message saying OpenAI would contact me in a week. I'll be sure to let everyone know if they do.

I am a novice coder, and even I know how to meaningfully label a button and give it very basic styling.

So what excuse does OpenAI have for these meaningless buttons? Absolutely none!

Cheers,

Lena Hinkle

Reader: Top Tech Tidbits
Retired Teacher: Passionate About Braille
Author: https://sixdotsart.com/

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