Despite the fact that most people today use the term “disability” to describe someone with limited or no skills (in eyesight, speech, intellect, and so on) and that it is a far better phrase than “handicapped,” “disability” will one day be consigned to the same place. Over the previous two decades, significant progress has been achieved in the subject 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 though most people are uninformed of what digital accessibility comprises, company leaders, government officials, and legal experts are increasingly conscious of the need to support persons who need assistive technology in making productive and meaningful use of technology.
The divide between impaired and non-disabled individuals is closing as technology becomes more prevalent in our lives, and digitization makes it easier for everyone to utilize. Although we are not yet at the stage where we can say that specialized technology has eradicated all of the challenges that a person with a handicap may experience, it has made coping with life’s obstacles substantially easier. Although some people believe that science and technology will one day remove all or the great majority of diseases, they acknowledge that this day is still a long way off.
How to Get Around
Consider how a blind person communicated, traveled, and shopped in the mid-twentieth century to get a sense of how far technology has come in the past 50 years.Landlines, typewriters, and Braille materials are readily available.
However, we had restricted access to books, magazines, and newspapers since they were mailed to us by blind-specific libraries. The labels on prescription bottles and soup cans were obscured, and there were no Braille signs in the buildings. What was on television could be heard but not seen.
There Were Once Few Public Transportation Options
Taxis were excessively costly if they were available in your region unless you lived in a major city with public transit. Passengers’ ability to travel by rail or flight was not guaranteed. There were no devices to guide us or identify our whereabouts. Large indoor arenas were challenging to navigate, needing the use of orientation services or government aid.
Shopping at a Physical Store
Even if you had a job and could travel around on your own, you required assistance from your employer or the business owner to purchase goods and services. This assistance was only available on rare occasions. Some people can go shopping by themselves, although it can be a stressful experience.
In the previous 50 years, technology has gone a long way! The following examples demonstrate what good, accessible technology and a myriad of inventive ideas have done for us 50 years later, expanding our autonomy and advancing us up the equality ladder in numerous ways.
Technology That Improves Communication
We may now interact on a variety 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 can read almost any magazine, book, or newspaper that strikes our fancy. Prescription bottles are now readily accessible, as are canned, boxed, and packaged groceries.
Excellent assistive technology, including screen readers, magnifiers, automatic captioning systems, and easily accessible digital information, has made this possible. Because of the emergence of descriptive video services, we may now view a variety of television programs (DVS). Most buildings are required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to provide Braille markings on room signage and elevator controls.
It’s Simple to Plan a Trip
Rail and airplane travel is now safe in many areas of the world, and mobile ridesharing makes getting around cities simple. GPS has expanded our options while making walking and driving more convenient. Augmented reality apps like AIRA and Be My Eyes broadcast live help from sighted individuals to our mobile devices, allowing us to navigate freely in new places like large skyscrapers.
Internet Shopping is Here to Stay
In the last five years, the capacity to have virtually anything delivered right to one’s door has made it substantially easier to obtain 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 operate despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yes, things have gotten better, but they are still far from perfect. Accessibility still needs a lot of work to improve and become the standard (expectation). Because they lack crucial properties that allow them to be used, PDFs and online forms are frequently inaccessible to individuals with impairments. We could make travel simpler if we had more freedom 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.
To set businesses on the right road, QualityLogic and other software suppliers have assisted them in making their websites more digitally accessible. By having an educated workforce, businesses can build game plans and designs for their software that anybody can use.
Accessibility Has Improved Because of Technology
These advancements have helped us get a long way toward doing basic chores that most people take for granted. Technology has enabled considerable development, but much of it has also been intended 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 store due to vision impairment must have it.
Technology will continue to bridge the gap between disabled and non-disabled people. 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 comprehend what is going on around us. Although some digital information is still being researched, access to web pages, multimedia, mobile applications, and traditional office paperwork is rising.
From the touch displays on our appliances and fitness equipment to the climate controls in our houses, technology is permeating every part of our lives. To reach our aim of full inclusion, we must have complete access to a wide range of digital materials.
Despite the fact that technological advancement has improved the lives of millions, absolute digital equality remains a long way off. Regardless of your viewpoint, digital access is here to stay. Accept it and keep improving it by increasing awareness, training others, and cooperating until it is no longer considered a specialist skill set to be shunned and becomes the standard for successful digital solutions that make our lives easier and more pleasurable.
Improve the Usability of Your Website
Contact QualityLogic if you own a business and want to make your website more digitally accessible. We think that everyone, regardless of health or disability, has the right to access. We will help you with educating and building a plan so that everyone may visit your website.
Click here to learn more about our products and our digital accessibility beginning kit. Despite being a significant barrier to overcome, QualityLogi may make viewing your website a breeze.