Why a Blind Person Can’t Order Food Via McDelivery.com.ph

I love McDonald’s. I’m a huge fan of their McChicken Sandwich. And when I found out in one of my workshops that McDonald’s Philippines has its own online delivery system, I was genuinely excited to try it out.

I was also interested to find out if blind persons who use screen readers would be able to make an online order through the site.

So what happened? Was I able to snag a McChicken Sandwich? Below I’ll tell you how my McChicken quest went out.

The McDelivery Online Service at a Glance

Once you have landed on the order page of McDelivery.com.ph, you can start selecting the items you want. Then you have to enter information on the set of text boxes in the page, and you’re done!

Pretty simple, but things become a whole lot different when you’re using assistive technology in making an online order.

The McDonald’s Code

Using a screen reader, I found that most of the online ordering page was usable. There are a number of accessibility issues, quite frankly, but there is one particular problem that ultimately prevented me from ordering my McChicken Sandwich.

On the page, there is a particular image containing a set of letters and numbers. You need to see this code and enter it in the provided text box. This image code is an example of a technology known as CAPTCHA. CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. CAPTCHA is used mainly to increase security in a site.

Since my screen reader cannot read text contained in an image, I was not able to enter the code. And sadly, I was not able to make an order and snag the McChicken Sandwich I so longed for.

Unlocking the McDonald’s Code

I know that the developers of the McDelivery online service included the aforesaid image code to increase the security of the site and prevent automated attacks. But the image code also makes it impossible for screen reader users to make an online order and enjoy McDonald’s products.

Keep in mind though that I am not saying that they should get rid of the image code. I, however, want to offer a solution to the concern faced by McDonald’s patrons like me.

In fact, there are several solutions to this concern. On the Even Grounds website, we have an article where we list down and explain the various alternatives to CAPTCHA.

The voice CAPTCHA is a good example of a CAPTCHA alternative. In addition to the image code, you can simply enter on a button to play an audio file that contains the code. You can listen to the code and enter it on the provided text box. Through voice CAPTCHAs, screen reader users would be able to independently complete their orders and have their food delivered.

I kindly suggest that you also read the Even Grounds article above to get more ideas about CAPTCHA alternatives.

My Thoughts in a (Chicken) Nugget…

Using a screen reader, I tried ordering food from McDelivery.com.ph. But I wasn’t able to complete my order because I couldn’t see the image code which I needed to enter on the form. I and other blind persons would nonetheless greatly appreciate it if McDelivery.com.ph would include alternative options in addition to the image code in its order page.

* Note: A screen reader is a software that reads highlighted text on the screen. Screen readers are used mainly by blind persons in accessing computer applications and browsing the Internet.


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