Learn About Digital Accessibility This Summer

If you are disabled, or know someone who is, you understand what accessibility means. You also understand what lack of accessibility means. Unfortunately, lack of accessibility is still a real problem. Obviously lack of physical accessibility is an issue. Lack of digital accessibility is a problem as well. Worse, this lack of accessibility goes beyond disabilities. People struggling with poverty and who aren’t native speakers also have accessibility issues.

Post preview learn about digital accessibility this summer

If you are disabled, or know someone who is, you understand what accessibility means. You also understand what lack of accessibility means. Unfortunately, lack of accessibility is still a real problem. Obviously lack of physical accessibility is an issue. Lack of digital accessibility is a problem as well. Worse, this lack of accessibility goes beyond disabilities. People struggling with poverty and who aren’t native speakers also have accessibility issues.

Imagine going to college in a wheelchair and being told that you can’t attend certain classes because they are held in rooms that aren’t on floors where there is elevator service. What would it be like if your employer told you that you had to complete training in order to earn a promotion, but the materials weren’t available in your language? For the disabled, it is every bit as likely to encounter roadblocks like this online as it is in the ‘real world’.

Expectations Must Consider Needs And Abilities

A teacher tells their students to go home, complete an assignment, and submit the completed work via blackboard. An employer requires a staff member to dial in from home when they are on call. Most are able to comply with either request. Then there are those who can’t. The student who doesn’t have internet access at home, and who doesn’t have a library within a safe distance is at a real disadvantage. So is the employee who is legally blind, and cannot login from home because the software doesn’t have accessibility options available.

The first step in ensuring digital accessibility is understanding the needs of your audience, setting expectations accordingly, and ultimately finding ways to assure that accessibility is not a roadblock to learning, advancement, or communication.

Digital Accessibility is a Two Way Street

If you have ensured that your website, your training materials, apps, etc. can be consumed by everyone, that’s great. That doesn’t mean that you have mastered digital accessibility. If disabilities, poverty, or language differences prevent people from being able to communicate with your company, your software, your educators, then you still have an accessibility issue.

It’s important to ensure that people are not limited in their ability to communicate with you, interact with their peers, and actively interact with you.

Conclusion: How Can You Learn About Digital Accessibility?

The best way to learn about this is to access community leaders, the ADA, and others who are committed to providing education on this issue. If you are vigilant you may provide someone with access they would have otherwise been denied.

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