The internet has become such an integral part of our lives and of the functioning of the world that it can be hard to remember what we ever did without it. We can access any information at the click of a button. We can see pictures of pretty much any place on earth. We can buy things without ever leaving our home. We can hear the latest news from around the world as soon as it happens. We can work from home, or still check in with work from a beach on the other side of the world. All of this has enhanced our lives in so many ways. And yet, we now take it for granted that we have all of this at our fingertips. We have come to expect it. Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone. Even in our own country, there are many that still struggle to access all these benefits that the internet gives us. Thankfully, there are companies, like accessiBe, that are changing this.
Why is there a difficulty for some?
I’m sure we don’t think twice when we see a ramp leading into a building, or a disabled toilet. We’ve come to expect this help for access for those who will need to use them. But the internet can also present challenges for disabled people and again, they may need help to access it. For example, someone may be unable to use, or possibly hold, a mouse. This can pose a problem when some websites require the use of a mouse to navigate them. Some may have a visual impairment. This can pose a problem if there is no option to change the font size, or to listen to audio descriptions.
How can we make a change?
This is a hot topic at the moment. The urgency is being realised, as a global pandemic has seen a massive increase in the number of websites being created. This means many more sites that offer unequal access, a situation that is unacceptable. It is the responsibility of all of us to make sure disabled people can access the same as everyone else. Companies with an online presence certainly have a moral obligation to make sure the needs of the disabled are considered. But not only that, they have a legal obligation too. Most countries now have laws requiring websites to be accessible.
As so much of our lives is connected to the internet, we should play our part in making sure disabled people have the same level of access as everybody else.