Despite the fact that the majority of individuals today use the term “disability” to refer to persons with limited or nonexistent abilities, it will be lowered to the same level as “handicapped” in the near future (in eyesight, speech, cognition, etc.). Despite significant advances over the preceding two decades, we are still not there in terms of digital accessibility. As more people become aware of the difficulties that disabled people face, such as the need for digital equality, views regarding disability are shifting.
Although most people are unaware of the concept of digital accessibility, corporate executives, government officials, and attorneys are becoming increasingly aware of the need to assist individuals who require 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 we cannot claim that personalized technology has cured all of a handicapped person’s challenges, it has greatly simplified dealing with day-to-day worries. Because of scientific and technological advancements, all or most disabilities may be eradicated one day. But, time is still on our side to create arrangements for those who require them.
Consider how blind people communicated, traveled, and purchased products 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 once scarce. We communicated through landlines, typed our work on huge typewriters to produce readable text, and had restricted access to books, journals, and newspapers through mail-order blind libraries. We couldn’t read the soup cans or prescription bottles since the buildings had no Braille signs. They could hear what was going on even if they couldn’t see it.
Alternative Modes of 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. It takes time to navigate large interior rooms, necessitating the usage of professional orientation services or government assistance.
Buying From Real Stores
Even if you had a job and the means to travel, you needed the assistance of a business or store owner to receive goods or services. This support was only provided in unusual cases. Despite the stress, some people are able to go shopping on their own. Shopping, on the other hand, typically takes longer for people with disabilities, and some may avoid these settings entirely.
Thankfully, technology has advanced substantially during the last 50 years! The examples below show how good, accessible technology and a few new ideas have helped us in a variety of ways 50 years later, extending our freedom and moving us up the equality ladder.
Technology That Improves Communicating
We may now connect on a range of 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. In addition, we may now read almost any magazine, newspaper, or book that piques our attention. Prescription bottles and grocery store items come in a range of sizes, including cans, cartons, and packages.
This is now possible because of advancements in assistive technology such as screen readers, magnifiers, automated captioning systems, and immediate access to digital information. We may now watch any television show 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. Its expert team might assist with the development of methods and designs that enable the blind, deaf, and intellectually disabled to access goods and information. For them, access is a human right, and no one deserves to struggle. They have assisted in the creation of thousands of successful programs over the previous 35 years, so you can be confident that you will receive comparable assistance.
Making Travel Plans Is Simple
Nowadays, many parts of the world have safe train and aircraft travel, and ridesharing via mobile devices makes travel more accessible. 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 transmit real-time assistance from a sighted person to our iPhones, making it easier to traverse new environments like enormous skyscrapers.
Online Shopping Is Becoming More Popular
The ability to have almost anything delivered directly to your door in the last five years has made it significantly easier to purchase the things you desire. We may now buy things and services that we would never see if we went to a real store and had them delivered to us. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic will have a huge influence on the food supply.
Whatever changes are implemented, the circumstance is likely to improve. Much effort is required 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 be more willing to travel if there were more options for where to go. Some e-commerce businesses still require customer support while completing a transaction. But life was far worse only twenty years ago.
Accessibility Has Improved
Thanks to all of these technological developments, we’ve come a long way in terms of being able to execute ordinary tasks that most people take for granted. Although technology has enabled enormous progress, humans have also worked diligently to make the majority of people’s lives easier. I just heard, “One person’s comfort is another person’s access.” People with visual impairment who are unable to drive or navigate a supermarket must rely on grocery delivery.
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 files are all becoming more widely available, but research into other digital assets is only getting started. Technology impacts every element of our existence. This includes everything from the temperature 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 advancement has benefited many aspects of our life, true digital equality remains a long way off. Whatever your point of view, digital access is limitless. Embrace it and continue to grow it by bringing it to the public’s notice. This requires training and collaborating with them so that they are no longer regarded as a rare skill set that people avoid but rather as the gold standard for excellent 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. They can also aid you in determining where your website is missing in accessibility before providing you with fresh design assistance. As a consequence of their services, your customer base will grow.