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Make giffgaff website accessible to the blind: Mobile site as accessible option

Status: Implemented
by mwhapples ‎19-03-2012 18:56 - edited ‎21-03-2012 10:04

I know accessibility of giffgaff's website has been raised before, however this idea differs from those as it intends to try and make an accessible option available quicker as it uses some existing stuff. Also it differs from just saying, something needs improving but rather makes specific suggestions of what could be done.

On recently joining giffgaff, I was appalled at how inaccessible the process was to me as a blind person relying on a screen reader to access the computer, the process is impossible for me to complete independently. Its so bad as an experience that I nearly decided to not bother in activating the SIM on principle and find another provider who may be more welcoming to a disabled person even if their rates are higher than giffgaff. I will review the situation again when my credit runs down, depending on if action is taken to improve things or if the quality of service is something special or just a mediocre service. Back to the suggestion as something needs to be done.

The main areas of issue in activating for me as a blind person was getting the six digit code read from the card and more concerningly the page for selecting top up amount. The six digit code I have ideas for but will need to consider them more fully and is sort of foreseeable anyway. This suggestion deals with the top up page issue as giffgaff actually has the technology available to make this accessible, they just haven't joined up the dots. Also it would make future top ups accessible in the future and needs even fewer dots joining up.

The solution: The accessibility problems lie in the main giffgaff website, it simply is not possible to use the keyboard to select a top up amount using the keyboard. However once one has an active SIM then one can use the mobile giffgaff website ( ) to top up by card payment and the mobile version is accessible to screen reader users, like me. My suggestion has two parts:

  • giffgaff should have a link on the main website for accessibility which takes the user to a page describing ways in which giffgaff's website can be made more accessible, or may be it could just be a link named "Accessible/mobile version" which just takes one to the mobile version of the website. Such a link may be found in the footer of every page. This part of the suggestion would make it easier for those using screen readers to find a more accessible version.

  • The second part of the suggestion requires more work. Unfortunately the mobile website does not actually have the feature for activating the SIM, so the suggestion is either the mobile website is extended to support SIM activation or as its just the top up part of the activation process (as far as the website technology goes) the user can opt to see the mobile version for that step if they use a screen reader.

    The first option for extending the features of the mobile site certinly would require some work, not so sure on the second option of making the mobile site a option for just the top up stage (IE. whether things would need tracking through that step which the mobile site currently cannot track).

Status: Implemented
Update 11/12/2012: Improving the accessibility of our website is something that we are working on constantly and since this Idea was posted there have already been further improvements, with more to come in the future.
by solid247 on ‎20-03-2012 13:03
Just to point out that craig has replied in the post in contribute > if care to read it
by donnie on ‎20-03-2012 13:15

This idea merits a kudo.  :smileyhappy:

by rochessel on ‎20-03-2012 16:08
Hoping Craig gets back to us all on here too! Bumping up the thread to get a bit more support :smileywink:
by 1hale on ‎20-03-2012 16:37
@othalian and @vorb Please please go back and read the original posters post. If you don't then I am afraid I'll have to report you both to an educator for failing to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act (D.D.A.) As "volunteer employees" of giffgaff you ARE legally obliged to comply with the DDA and that means that no matter how hard the post is to read you still need to read it. However if the post is hard to read because it's been written in text speak or a foreign language then you can ask the original poster to write it in English so that you can understand it. But in the case of this thread it is written in clear and consise English and is perfectly readable. Yes it's not been written with paragraphs but still readable.
by hg ‎20-03-2012 17:23 - edited ‎20-03-2012 17:34


Paragraph breaks are your friend !


If your handset doesn't like them, try putting a "holding space" on the blank line.


Either way, a brick of text like the OP is difficult to read, which is especially ironic given the matter discussed.


[Added]:  I think it's very refreshing to see that having outlined the problem, the OP has at least offered some positive input into how changes might be achieved.  It may very well be that the problem was ortiginally overlooked and a bit of informed guidance is all which is needed to put it right :smileyhappy:






by 1hale on ‎20-03-2012 17:24
Yes but what's a holding space?
by oldyorkie on ‎21-03-2012 00:56


This would be a fantastic addition to the website accessibiity shortfalls.Kudos given and well deserved, :smileyhappy:


But, whilst I appreciate the text within the idea may be hard to read...I think the obvious point is being missed by members posting comments .... is that mwhapples is blind...


What I mean is the very subject of this excellent suggestion is to do with sight -- now here's the irony..

members are complaining that they are having difficulty reading (seeing really) the idea in question - we need to remember that mwhapples is unfortunately unable to see at all....


This really does just show how much we take for granted ..

I'm disappointed to see members complaining that they can't view the text properly - to a person that can't view at all ?? :smileysad:

Surely it's no hardship to use the zoom function and scroll around for a few minutes on an idea that is extremely worthwhile spending time on?

by rochessel on ‎21-03-2012 00:57
Well said yorkie!
by phone_freak on ‎17-05-2012 23:17
I heard back from the Agent again yesterday. They have suggested I use the mobile site to top-up for the time being. However, Apparently the accessibility issue I and others have experienced is likely to be one of a number of priority issues with the main site raised by the Community which they are going to implement, hopefully on or around 26th May. Watch this space. Come on Giffgaff show us you are really responding to this, and then once the joining process is accessible I will be happy to spread Giffgaff. :smileyhappy:
by phone_freak on ‎21-05-2012 19:04
Hi again, I promised to write some suggestions on how to improve the accessibility of Giffgaff, particularly regarding topping up and checking balance. Please see my suggestions below. I would welcome comments of educators and Community members alike: Temporary Solution 1. Put a link on the SIM Activation page informing people that the process isn’t currently accessible for screen reader users and linking to a special form to inform an Agent who will assist you – This is the minimum you should do to keep within legislation. 2. Agent to advise customer they will need to yuse the mobile site to top-up for the time being. Permanent Improvements 1. Add a tick box within the “get a Free SIM” page to request that the 6-digit code is E-mailed to the customer when the SIM pack is sent out or is provided on a Braille slip within the pack – I know you’re going to say the SIMs are sent out from a different place to where the order is placed and this would be difficult but you have to find a way round this I’m afraid. 2. Make the top-up page on the main site accessible – mwhapples has suggested providing an alternative link to the mobile site on this page. I think this would do as a sort of short-term temporary solution but it is much more inclusive to have the main site made accessible to everyone so modifying the existing top-up page on the main site should be the preferred approach. 3. Add options within the menue of 43430 to check your balance, top-up using a stored credit/debit card and also to purchase Goodie Bags – This would enable any person who doesn’t have ready access to a computer, but who had their account set up by a friend or family member to make top-ups independently. Also any visually impaired person who doesn’t have a talking phone would be able to check their balance as they wouldn’t be able to access the information on screen after dialling *100#. This would make Giffgaff attractive to those people who want to buy a pay-as-you-go SIM for an elderly relative, for example. I think even some customers who are able to use the Internet would find this useful as it is often quicker when you’re out and about to use a talking phone menu than to go online. 4. Add the ability to top-up using a swipe card and add options to link a swipe card online and within 43430 - A visually impaired person cannot read the code on a voucher, but once a top-up card has been linked for them by a friend or family member they would be able to take it into a shop and add credit whenever they wanted. It would be even better if a linked swipe card could be sent out by an Agent on request so the customer wouldn’t even have to get someone to read the code on the swipe card. I also note other customers have raised the suggestion of swipe cards within the Community.

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