Because of Digital Accessibility and Inclusion, Our Ways of Life Are Changing
Despite the fact that most people currently use the term “disability” to describe someone who has limited or no skills (in eyesight, speech, intellect, etc.) and that it is a far better phrase than “handicapped,” “disability” will be reduced to the same position one day. Over the previous two decades, great progress has been achieved in the field of digital accessibility. For example, as more people become aware of the challenges that individuals experience and the need for digital equality, the status of what it means to be disabled rises. Even if the majority of people are uninformed of what digital accessibility comprises, corporate executives, government officials, and legal experts are becoming increasingly conscious of the need to help individuals who need assistive technology utilize technology in a productive and meaningful way.
The divide between handicapped and non-disabled individuals is closing as technology becomes more pervasive in our lives and digital inclusion makes it easier for everyone to utilize it. Although we are not yet at the stage where we can declare that specialized technology has eradicated all of the challenges that a person with a handicap may have, it has substantially simplified coping with life’s obstacles. Despite the fact that some people hope that science and technology will one day erase all or the great majority of infirmities, they acknowledge that this day is still a long way off.
Consider how a blind person communicated, traveled, and shopped in the mid-twentieth century to get a sense of how far technology has advanced in the previous 50 years.
Landlines, typewriters, and Braille materials are available.
We had restricted access to books, magazines, and newspapers since they were mailed to us by blind-specific libraries. We couldn’t see the labels on medication bottles or soup cans, and the buildings had no Braille signs. What was on television could be heard but not seen.
Unless you lived in a major city with public transit, cabs were excessively costly if they were available in your region. Passengers’ ability to travel by train or airline was not guaranteed. There were no tools to guide us or indicate our location. Large indoor arenas were difficult to navigate, needing the usage of orientation services or government aid.
Even if you had a job and could travel around on your own, you required assistance from the company or store owner in order to purchase goods and services. This assistance was only sometimes available. Some people can go shopping on their own, but it can be a stressful experience.
In the previous 50 years, technology has gone a long way! The examples below demonstrate what good, accessible technology and numerous inventive ideas have done for us 50 years later in terms of making us more autonomous and advancing us up the equality ladder in a number of ways.
We may now converse on a range of devices, from mobile phones to computer workstations, by using Zoom. We create reports utilizing word processors, email, and text messaging from anywhere with a Wi-Fi or mobile signal. We have the ability to read practically any magazine, book, or newspaper that comes to mind. Prescription bottles, as well as canned, boxed, and packaged groceries, are now commonly accessible. This has been aided by excellent assistive technology such as screen readers, magnifiers, automatic captioning systems, and easily accessible digital information. Because of the emergence of descriptive video services, we can now view a wide range of television shows (DVS). Because of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the majority of buildings now include Braille labels on room signage and elevator controls.
Rail and plane travel are now safe in many areas of the world, and mobile ridesharing makes getting around cities straightforward. GPS has expanded our options and made walking and driving more convenient. Augmented reality apps like AIRA and Be My Eyes employ live help from a sighted individual to broadcast to our mobile devices, allowing us to move freely in unfamiliar surroundings like enormous buildings.
In the last five years, the ability to have nearly anything delivered directly to one’s house has made it substantially easier to purchase what one wishes. Online shopping has not only allowed us to have stuff shipped to us, but it has also given us access to products and services that we would not have known about if we had shopped in a store. Furthermore, grocery delivery will continue to exist despite the COVID-19 epidemic.
Yes, things have gotten better, but they are still far from perfect. Accessibility still needs a lot more work to improve and become the standard (expectation). Because they lack key characteristics that would allow them to be utilized, PDFs and online forms are commonly inaccessible to individuals with impairments. We could make travel simpler if we had more flexibility in where we went, but purchasing on many e-commerce sites still needs to be improved. However, living now is vastly superior to life even twenty years ago.
Software companies like QualityLogic have been assisting businesses in making their websites more digitally accessible in order to set them on the right road. Businesses may make game plans and designs for their software that anybody can use without difficulty by supplying them with an educated workforce.
All of these advances have led us a long way toward performing basic jobs that most people take for granted. Much development has been made possible by technology, but much of it has also been designed to simplify life for most people. “One person’s convenience is another person’s accessibility,” as the saying goes. Many individuals benefit from food delivery, but those who are unable to drive or navigate a grocery shop owing to low vision must have it.
Technology will continue to enable people with and without impairments to overcome the divide. Because of 5G networks and ultra-fast AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning) systems, wearable technology, for example, will be able to see, hear, and grasp what is going on around us. Access to digital material such as web pages, multimedia, mobile applications, and conventional office documents is improving, but some digital stuff is only now being researched.
From the touch displays on our appliances and fitness equipment to the climate controls in our houses, technology continues to permeate every part of our lives. We must have complete access to diverse sorts of digital material if we are to fulfill our aim of full inclusion.
Despite the fact that technological advancement has improved the lives of millions, real digital equality remains a long way off. Regardless of your viewpoint, digital access is here to stay. Accept it and continue to improve it by increasing awareness, training others, and cooperating until it is no longer a specialist skill set that people strive to avoid and becomes the standard for successful digital solutions that make our lives easier and more pleasurable.
If you own a company and want to make your website more digitally accessible, call QualityLogic for assistance. We think that everyone, regardless of disease or disability, deserves access. We will help you with education and build a plan that will allow everyone to easily access your website.
Click here to learn more about our products and our digital accessibility beginning kit. Even if it appears to be a tremendous obstacle to overcome, QualityLogi can ensure that visiting your website is a breeze.