Even though most individuals in the world today use the word “disability” to refer to persons with limited or nonexistent talents, it will soon be lowered to the same level as “handicapped” (in eyesight, speech, intelligence, and so on). Despite significant advancements over the preceding two decades, we are still not there in terms of internet accessibility. As more people become aware of the obstacles that handicapped people face, such as the need for digital equality, attitudes toward disability are shifting.
Despite the fact that most people are unaware of the idea of digital accessibility, corporate leaders, government officials, and attorneys are becoming increasingly conscious of the need to aid those who use assistive technology in making meaningful and productive use of technology.
The divide between those with and without disabilities is closing as technology progresses and becomes more prevalent in our lives, 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 made coping with day-to-day worries considerably simpler. As a result of scientific and technological developments, all or most impairments may be erased one day. However, there is still time to prepare for those who need them.
To comprehend how far technology has gone in the last 50 years, consider how blind people interacted, traveled, and purchased products in the mid-twentieth century.
Previously, Braille products, laptops, and mobile phones were in low supply. We communicated through landlines, typed our work on massive typewriters to make readable text, and had limited access to books, journals, and newspapers through mail-order blind libraries. Because there were no Braille signs in the buildings, blind individuals couldn’t even read the soup cans or prescription bottles. They could hear what was going on even if they couldn’t 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 equipment or technology to assist us in determining our whereabouts. Navigating large interior rooms takes time and may necessitate the use of professional orientation services or government assistance.
Buying From Real Stores
Even if you had a job and transportation, getting goods or services required the assistance of a business or store owner. This support was only provided in extreme cases. Some people can go to the store on their own, despite their nervousness. Shopping, on the contrary, takes longer for people with disabilities, and some may require assistance to avoid certain situations entirely.
Fortunately, technology has come a long way in the previous 50 years! The examples below show how, 50 years later, good, accessible technology and a few new concepts have benefited us in a number of ways, improving our freedom and moving us farther up the equality ladder.
We may now connect on a range of devices, including smartphones 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. Furthermore, practically any magazine, newspaper, or book that piques our attention may now be read. Medicine bottles and grocery store items are commonly packaged in cans, cartons, and packages.
This is now possible thanks to advancements in assistive technology, including screen readers, magnifiers, automated captioning systems, and immediate access to digital information. We can now watch any television show thanks to the rise 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. Its experienced staff might contribute to the development of methods and designs that enable the blind, deaf, and intellectually challenged to get access to goods and information. For them, access is a human right, and no one should have to struggle. They have aided in the establishment of thousands of successful programs over the preceding 35 years, so you can be certain that you will receive comparable support.
Making Travel Plans Is Simple
Train and aircraft travel is now secure in many areas of the world, and ridesharing through smartphones makes travel more accessible and possible. GPS has given 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 deliver real-time assistance from a sighted person to our iPhones, making it easier to traverse new settings like enormous skyscrapers.
Online Shopping Is Becoming Increasingly Popular
In just the last few years, the ability to have almost anything delivered directly to your door has made it far easier to obtain the products you desire. We may now buy and have delivered things and services that we would never see in a real store. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant influence on food availability and how it was obtained. Instead of going to the store, we can order things from Uber Eats or DoorDash.
Whatever improvements are implemented, the situation is expected to improve. It will require a significant amount of effort to make accessibility the norm (expectation). PDFs and online forms may be inaccessible to individuals with impairments because they lack crucial accessibility components. We’d be more willing to go on vacation if there were more locations to visit. Some e-commerce enterprises demand customer assistance even when completing a purchase. However, life was significantly worse only twenty years ago.
Accessibility has Improved
Thanks to all of these technological breakthroughs, 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 technology has enabled enormous advancement, humans have also worked relentlessly to simplify the majority of people’s lives. You’ve probably heard the expression, “One person’s comfort is another person’s access.” This is correct; consider how handy it is for individuals to have food delivered to them from locations where it was previously impossible.
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 comprehending what is going on around us.
Websites, video, mobile applications, and critical office data are becoming more widely available, but research into other digital assets is only getting started. 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 technological 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 needs 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 effective digital solutions that make our lives much simpler and more enjoyable.
For more information on QualityLogic’s easy online accessibility starter 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 assistance, 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.