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Digital Accessibility is Important Now More Than Ever

Written by: Jonathan Avila

With social distancing becoming the new normal, digital accessibility is vital for people with disabilities to stay in touch with society. Many people are solely relying on digital means for everyday activities including:

  • Shopping for necessities and ordering food
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Tele-healthcare
  • Socializing and religion
  • Community Services
  • Finance
  • Recreation/relaxation
  • Others

Physical things like public transportation, para-transit, are either severely limited or shutdown.  People either are voluntarily or by mandate sheltering in place or practicing physical distancing.

With physical distancing all of these areas must be addressed through digital means including:

  • Websites
  • Mobile apps
  • Video/audio conferencing
  • Streaming
  • Electronic documents
  • Telephone
  • Voice/Virtual Assistants
  • Other

Without a physical fallback these services need to be inclusive so people with disabilities do not have to be without access to them or attempt to disobey shelter in place and other orders in order to try to access these services.  Digital systems have the power to be more accessible than their physical counterparts.

Lack of accessibility can have a cascading impact on people – lack of access to inclusive education impacts employment potential which impacts socio-economic status which impacts health and well-being and so forth.

Social Inclusion is important to well-being.