16 Apr 2011, 3:20pm

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I have resisted joining Facebook® for several years. It seems to me to be a precarious social life, a venue for singles to cruise for hits, and predators to hunt on the innocent. Plus, I’d been told that there are so many visuals, my screen reader wouldn’t do a good job of accessing the information. I thought they had a point, but I’m not the type to sit down and let life pass me by.
My husband and 12-year old son set up a Facebook® account for me, inserted my photo posed with my 3-month old grandson, and said I had no friends. Thanks a lot!
My son talked me through signing into my Facebook® page and left the room. Eventually, after many hours of using the up and down arrow, the “tab” to navigate each screen, and listening for something intelligible, I started to get the hang of it…or so I thought.
When my husband came in and asked how I was doing, I snagged him to tell me what was on the screen that JAWS wouldn’t read. He explained that it repeats the name twice, because once is the name of the person and the second is the label under the person’s picture. He explained the difference of “chat”, “message”, and “wall” as best he could. What neither of us could figure out were all the code notations found between the brackets. We decided that our CA computer whiz kid was the only one who could decipher the codes and that they weren’t something we needed to know to function at the superficial level we were on.
I’ve never been one to enjoy small chit-chat, so I’m not sure I’ll continue participating on Facebook®, but I’m enjoying the challenge of learning something new…even if I still don’t have any friends.

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