REAL USERS. REAL ISSUES.
- A cable TV remote lacks a tactile way to distinguish between different types of buttons (e.g., volume, DVR, channel numbers).
- A game system requires two hands to perform a hard reboot.
- An airline kiosk lacks a port to connect headphones for a traveler who is hard of hearing.
SECTION 508 & YOU
The Law: Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act
First passed: 1973
Recently refreshed: 2017
Applies to: Hardware manufacturers selling to the federal government
Requires: Information and communications technology (ICT) must be accessible to persons with disabilities.
THE CVAA & YOU
The Law: The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA)
First passed: 2010
Applies to: Hardware manufacturers
Requires: Advanced communications services (ACS) and products should be accessible by people with disabilities.
NOT ACCESSIBLE? THAT'S RISKY BUSINESS.
The #1 reason motivating most of our clients. (It's okay if that's what gets you in the door.) Nobody wants to be on the receiving end of a demand letter or lawsuit.
People with disabilities want to shop, bank, travel, and binge watch TV too! Ignore accessibility and you ignore these customers.
Accessibility cases are also tried in the court of public opinion. Word spreads quickly in the community when an organization values accessibility—or doesn't.
WHAT IS ACCESSIBILITY?
Digital accessibility refers to the ability of users with disabilities to effectively use information technology (IT) systems including websites, mobile or web-based applications, software, and hardware. Digital accessibility is generally concerned with ensuring that IT systems are designed in such a way that they interact appropriately with assistive technologies.
Assistive technologies can include:
- Screen readers, Braille keypads, or screen magnification software so users who are blind or low vision can read your content.
- Voice recognition software that helps those with mobility disabilities (even arthritis) navigate the web and type using only their voice.
- Head pointers and switch devices that allow those with more limited movement navigate without using their hands or a traditional mouse.
Some of our elders remember the days when a computer filled an entire room. Now, we have computers in our pockets. So many aspects of our lives are made easier by technology.
Yet, those with disabilities are often left out when hardware is designed without a thought for their needs.
By some estimates, one in five people has a disability that affects their daily life. Having equal access to technology has a profound, enabling effect for people with disabilities.