Sunday, May 30, 2010

The accessible Poker project

AccessiblePoker offers a solution that makes it possible to bring poker software into line with the need of those whom are visually impaired, so that they can play online poker as equals. We offer advice to network managers, with the intention of making them aware of what can be done to make their software accessible. We develop scripts that enables you as a Jaws user to play, we help you with the installation, and we offer you free email support, and best of all, we do this free of charge. To make things even better, you will also reseive a 100% 1st deposit bonus up to $400, along with one of the best rakeback deals available on the internet today. You can of course sign-up with us whether you're visually impaired or not. There's no reason why you should miss out on the 40 % rakeback deal, just because you don't need our scripts.

It's true! For the first time, since the "Ongame network" updated their software in 2008, which made it inpossible to play there, the "blind community" now has a place to play real money poker online.

All thanks to: Brandon Malin, who wrote numerous emails to what seemed like a never ending list of poker sites, "Minted Poker", where they actually took the time to listen, some dedicated work by Helene Jangenfeldt, with the Jaws scripts, and the "Everleaf gaming network", which as of to day is the only poker network where they've realised that what is necessary for some, is good enough for everybody. No other network has been willing to make changes to their software, in order to make it accessible.

It's really not that difficult. All we need is an option that makes it possible to read all the updates for the game in the chatbox, including wholecards and communitycards, and a text label for the players, that shows their nicknames and their chipcounts.

Most of this is already possible in a lot of poker clients. The probaem is usually that they don't display the wholecards in the chatbox. This is true for the cake network for example, and Fat bet Poker as well.

There were quite a few visually impaired players on the ongame network, but after their attrocious update in 2008, where they changed the labels on the cards from text to graphics, it was no longer possible to play there using a screenreader.

All of us blind poker players tried to email them and beg them to make it possible for us to play using there old version of the poker client, but they refused, and after their update in the summer of 2009, it doesn't even seem to be accessible if your sighted, so I strongly doubt that there's any hope left for the visually impaired.

Microgaming was also accessible for a while, but they did something to the labeling of the players, so that Jaws, the screenreader couldn't red them anymore.

The same goes for FullTilt Poker. Although their last update made it impossible even to sign in using Jaws for windows. The screenreaders are just not able to catch anything on there now. We find this very strange, considering that they have a blind poker player signed as one of their pros..

We've tried to email all of these networks, and a lot of others as well, but until January 2010, all of them either refused point blank, or promised to get back to us. They must be very busy how ever, cause we're still waiting for their reply...

When it became impossible to play at the Ongame network, most people either called it quits, and went back to paying almost $ 8 a month to be able to play with fake chips, or hired a reader to be able to keep playing poker, but The Accessible Poker Team just wouldn't give up.

We kept looking around online for new poker networks, and downloaded tons of different poker software to establish whether there was any kind of potential forJaws scripts. No poker client works without scripts, but if Jaws can't read enough to even make it possible to sign in, it's not even worth contacting the network, since they'd have to make so many changes to the software, they might as well design a totally new one.

We settled for Cake Poker on the Cake network, and Minted Poker, on the Everleaf gaming network, as they both worked very well with jaws. On Cake they already had the community cards in the chatbox , but unfortunately the wholecards weren't displayed there as well and they were not willing to change that.

At Minted Poker however, we finally found someone who was willing to help us.
We couldn't really believe it at first. We figured they would forget about us, as they were just merging with another poker network, but they didn't!

Helene started to write scripts for Jaws, and when they made the accessibility changes in February 2010. We were ready and waiting.

Unfortunately Helene gave the scripts to a friend, to let him try them out, and just 2 days later he and another acquaintance had a blog up where they were giving out our scripts in exchange for players signing up via their affiliate links to XPTPoker, another site on the Everleaf network, so that they could make money off of and, take credit for our work. This is why we can't help you if you didn't receive your copy of the scripts directly from us, as we don't contribute to the support of VTPoker neither technically nor economically.

Still, the important thing is, that finally, Finally! We have a place to play poker again, where we don't have to depend on other people to be available, and, or, in the mood to read the cards...

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