Despite the fact that most people today use the term “disability” to refer to persons who have limited or nonexistent abilities, it will be degraded to the same level as “handicapped” in the near future (in eyesight, speech, cognition, etc.). Despite significant gains over the preceding two decades, we are still not there in terms of digital accessibility. People’s views regarding disability improve as more people become aware of the difficulties that disabled people face, such as the need for digital equality.
Even though most people are unfamiliar with the concept of digital accessibility, business executives, government officials, and attorneys are increasingly conscious of the need to aid people who use assistive technology in making meaningful and productive use of technology.
The divide between those with and without disabilities is closing as technology grows and becomes more prevalent in our lives, and digital inclusion makes it easier for everyone to use that technology. Although we cannot say that customized technology has addressed every problem that a disabled person may have, it has made dealing with day-to-day issues much simpler. Because of scientific and technological development, all or most disabilities may be eradicated one day. We still have time on our side.
Consider how blind people communicated, traveled, and purchased goods in the mid-twentieth century to get a sense of how far technology has progressed in the last 50 years.
Braille materials, typewriters, and landlines were formerly scarce. We communicated through landlines, typed our work on bulky typewriters to produce readable text, and had limited access to books, journals, and newspapers through mail-order blind libraries. We couldn’t read the soup cans or prescription bottles since there were no Braille signs on the buildings. The television was audible enough for them, even if they could not see what was happening.
Modes of Alternative Transportation
Cabs were too expensive in your location if you lived in a metropolis with public transportation. There had to be a guarantee of rail or aircraft travel. We required navigational equipment or technology to assist us in determining our whereabouts. It takes time to navigate important indoor places, necessitating the need for professional orientation services or government assistance.
Buying From Actual Stores
Even if you had a job and the means to travel, you needed the assistance of a firm or store owner to acquire goods or services. This aid was only provided in rare circumstances. Some folks can go shopping on their own, despite the stress. However, shopping often takes longer for those with disabilities and some may try to avoid these situations entirely.
Thankfully, technology has advanced dramatically in the last 50 years! The examples below show how good, accessible technology and a few new concepts have helped us in a variety of ways 50 years later, increasing our freedom and moving us up the equality ladder.
Technology That Improves Communication
We may now connect on various devices, including mobile phones and computer workstations, thanks to Zoom. We make reports from any location with Wi-Fi or a mobile signal by using word processors, emails, and text messages. Not only that, but we may now read almost any magazine, newspaper, or book that piques our curiosity. There are several options for purchasing prescription bottles and grocery store items in cans, cartons, and packages.
This is possible thanks to advancements in assistive technology such as screen readers, magnifiers, automated captioning systems, and immediate access to digital information. We may now watch any television programs thanks to the introduction of descriptive video services (DVS). 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. Their knowledgeable employees may contribute to the creation of methods and designs that allow the blind, deaf, and mentally challenged to access goods and information. For them, access is a human right, and no one deserves to struggle.
Making Travel Plans Is Simple
Rail and aircraft travel is now secure in many parts of the world, and ridesharing via mobile devices makes travel more convenient. GPS has offered us more flexibility while also making driving and walking easier. We could use augmented reality technology from apps like AIRA and Be My Eyes to broadcast real-time assistance from a sighted person to our iPhones, allowing us to navigate new circumstances like enormous buildings quickly.
Online Shopping is Growing in Popularity
The ability to have nearly anything delivered directly to your door has made it substantially easier to acquire the items you desire in the previous five years. We may now get things and services that we would have never seen if we bought them in a real store and had them delivered to us. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic will cause significant disruptions in food supplies.
Regardless of progress, the situation has the capacity to improve. Much work must be done to expand accessibility and make it the norm (expectation). PDFs and online forms may be inaccessible to people with disabilities because they lack critical accessibility components. We’d travel more readily if we had more options for where to go. Many e-commerce sites still require assistance when purchasing. However, only twenty years ago, life was significantly worse.
Accessibility Has Improved
Thanks to all of these technological advancements, we’ve come a long way in terms of being able to conduct ordinary tasks that most people take for granted. Technology has enabled significant improvement, but humans have also worked hard to make the majority of people’s lives easier. “One person’s convenience is another person’s access,” I just heard. Those who can’t drive or navigate a grocery store due to visual impairment must rely on supermarket delivery.
The divide between those with and without disabilities will continue to close as technology advances. Because of 5G networks and swift AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning) systems, wearable technology will be able to assist us in seeing, hearing, and comprehending what is going on around us.
Websites, video, mobile applications, and essential office files are all becoming more widely available, but research into other digital assets is only getting started. Every aspect of our lives is influenced by technology. This includes the climate controls 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 technological advancements have improved many aspects of our lives, true digital equality remains a long way off. Whatever your point of view, digital access is permanent. Let us accept it and continue to improve it by bringing it to the public’s attention. This means training and collaborating with them so that it is no longer regarded as a rare skill set that people avoid but rather the norm for outstanding digital solutions that make our lives easier and more enjoyable.
For more information on QualityLogic’s easy digital accessibility starter kit for your business, click here. They will guide you through the transition to the new era of accessibility. As a consequence of their services, your customer base will grow.