REAL CITIZENS. REAL ISSUES.
- A town wishes to collect feedback from citizens regarding a potential change to their programs, but the form’s fields cannot be read by a screen reader.
- A citizen with low vision wishes to look up her property tax record on her iPad, but the county’s website does not allow pinch-to-zoom, so she cannot make the text large enough to read.
- A video is posted on a state senator’s website, but it does not include captions or a transcript for constituents who are deaf or hard of hearing.
THE ADA & YOU
The Law: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title II
First passed: 1990
Last refreshed: 2008
Applies to: State and local government agencies
Requires: State and local government agencies must provide accommodations for citizens 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 letter or legal action.
Vendors who are selling information and communications technology to the government need to meet accessibility standards to get a contract.
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, software, websites, and apps are 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.