Even while most people today use the word “disability” to refer to persons who have limited or nonexistent skills, it will soon be assigned to the same category as “handicapped” (in eyesight, speech, IQ, and so on). Despite significant advances over the preceding two decades, we are still a long way from having universal internet access. People’s attitudes toward disability are shifting as more people become mindful of the difficulties that disabled people face, such as the need for digital inclusion.
Although most people are unaware of the idea of digital accessibility, business owners, elected officials, and lawyers are becoming increasingly aware of the necessity to aid people who use assistive technology in making meaningful and effective use of technology.
As technology improves and becomes more prevalent in our daily lives, the gap between individuals with and without disabilities closes, and digital inclusion makes it easier for everyone to use that technology. Although tailored technology cannot claim to have cured all of a handicapped person’s challenges, it has dramatically simplified dealing with day-to-day worries. Because of scientific and technological developments, all or most impairments may be erased one day. However, there is still time to prepare for those who are going to need them.
Look at how blind people interacted, traveled, and bought products in the mid-twentieth century to get an idea of how far technology has advanced in the last 50 years.
Previously, Braille products, personal computers, and mobile phones were few. We communicated through landlines, typed our work on massive typewriters to create readable text, and had limited access to books, journals, and newspapers through mail-order blind libraries. Because there were also no Braille markings on the grounds, blind folks couldn’t figure out the words on soup cans or pills. They could hear what was going on even if they weren’t able to see it.
Modes of Alternative Transportation
Cabs were unreasonably expensive if you lived in a city with public transportation. It was necessary to provide proof of train or plane travel. We required navigational devices or technology to assist us in determining our whereabouts. Navigating enormous interior regions takes time and may necessitate the use of professional orientation solutions or government assistance.
Buying From Real Stores
Even if you had an occupation and transportation, you would need the assistance of a business or shop owner to obtain goods or services. This support was only provided in unusual cases. Some folks can go to the grocery on their own, despite their nervousness. People with disabilities, on the other hand, take more time to shop, and some may require assistance to avoid certain situations entirely.
Fortunately, technology has come a long way in the previous 50 years! The following examples show how, 50 years later, excellent, accessible technology and some fresh ideas have aided us in a number of ways, improving our freedom and moving us higher up the equality pyramid.
Communication-Improving Innovation of Today
We can now communicate on a range of devices, such as smartphones and desktop PCs, thanks to apps like Zoom. We generate reports using word processing programs, emails, and text messages from anywhere there is Wi-Fi or a mobile signal. In addition, we may now read practically any magazine, newspaper, or book that piques our interest. Medicine bottles and supermarket items are frequently packaged in cans, cartons, and packages.
This is now possible because of advancements in assistive technology such as screen readers, magnifying lenses, automated captioning systems, and immediate access to digital information. Because of the advent of descriptive video services (DVS), we can now watch any television show. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires most buildings to provide Braille markings on room signs and elevator controls.
Because of software firms like QualityLogic, businesses may gain from being more accessible online. Its professional staff might contribute to the development of methods and solutions that allow the blind, deaf, and intellectually challenged to access products and data. Access is a human right for them, and no one should have to work for it. They have aided in the development of thousands of profitable initiatives over the preceding 35 years, so you can be confident that you will receive similar support.
Preparing Travel Plans Is Simple
Train and plane travel are now secure in many areas of the world, and carpooling through cell phones makes traveling more accessible and feasible. GPS has given us greater flexibility while also making driving and walking more convenient. We could use virtual reality features from apps like AIRA and Be My Eyes on our iPhones to obtain real-time support from a sighted individual, making it easier to traverse new places like enormous skyscrapers.
Online Shopping Is Increasingly Popular
In recent years, the ability to have practically anything delivered directly to your door has made it substantially easier to obtain the items you desire. We may now order things and services that we would never find in a real store and have them delivered to our door. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on food supplies and access. Instead of traveling to the grocery store, we can utilize Uber Eats or DoorDash.
Whatever improvements are implemented, the situation is expected to improve. It will take a significant amount of effort to make accessibility an accepted norm (expectation). Because they lack important accessibility components, PDFs and online forms may be inaccessible to individuals with impairments. If there were more locations to visit, we’d be more likely to take a holiday. Some e-commerce enterprises demand customer assistance even after the transaction has been completed. However, life was far worse only twenty years ago.
Accessibility Has Improved
Thanks to all of these technological advancements, we’ve come a long way in terms of being able to execute ordinary tasks that most people take for granted. Despite the fact that technical progress has enabled incredible development, humanity has worked relentlessly to simplify the majority of people’s lives. You’ve probably heard the expression, “One person’s pleasure is another person’s accessibility.” This is true; consider how handy it is for individuals to have food brought to them from previously inaccessible locations.
The divide between those with and without disabilities will continue to close as technology advances. Because of 5G networks and rapid AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning) systems, wearable technology will be able to assist us in seeing, hearing, and understanding what is going on around us.
Websites, video, mobile applications, and essential office data are becoming more open, but research on other digital assets is still in its early phases. Technology influences every part of our life. This includes everything from the temperature settings in our homes to the touch displays on our appliances and fitness equipment. To achieve our goal of full access and inclusion, we must have complete access to all types of digital information.
While technology advancements have improved many parts of our life, genuine digital equality remains a long way off. Whatever you think, digital access is limitless. Accept it and help it grow by bringing it to the attention of the public. This necessitates training and collaboration with them so that they are no longer regarded as a specialized skill set to be shunned but rather as the gold standard for successful digital solutions that make our daily tasks easier and more enjoyable.
For more information about QualityLogic’s easy online accessibility beginning kit for your business, click here. They will guide you through the transition to the new era of accessibility. Before providing you with fresh design help, they may also aid you in determining where your website falls short in terms of accessibility. As a consequence of their services, your customer base will grow.