Accessibility Is Easy

Creating accessible and inclusive environments may seem daunting in this increasingly digital world. While one might think that the fast evolution of technology would leave people with disabilities behind, the opposite is true, making it easier for us to be included in most any new development. today marks 2019’s Global Accessibility Awareness day, and it’s a perfect time to look at a few fantastic examples of accessibility which build a more inclusive world. Imagine the doors that can open for you or your company by understanding how much accessibility exists and how easy including our community can be.
Image of me wearing Aira smart glassesFirst, meet the technological advancement I love most. It’s called Aira, and it’s a visual interpreter for the blind. Basically, it uses smart glasses, or a phone’s camera, to connect to a live agent who can see my surroundings and describe what they see. With Aira, I can do anything from navigating an unfamiliar building, reading mail, picking an outfit for work, and an endless array of other tasks. It takes away the stress of inaccessibility due to not being able to see what others can, and it’s available to me at the touch of a button. While it’s usable based on a paid subscription, it can also be free to access at certain designated locations.
You might be thinking yes but, how do you even use a phone? The fact is that most modern mobile devices and computers have built-in software to make them usable to people of all abilities. Enlarged text and contrast options help people with limited vision, while screen reading software reads anything on screen to people who are blind, and text to speech dictation assists those who have difficulty typing. More and more companies add accessibility into their electronics and software, so we can manage awesome scenarios like this.
My friend and I sitting infront of a large audio board facing microphonesMeanwhile, services such as rideshare and grocery delivery transform the lives of people with and without disabilities as do virtual assistance like Siri and Alexa. Though they might make life easier for the average person, they level the playing field for the disability community without being an obvious nod for inclusive and accessible.
Accessibility, digital or otherwise, is not just about modifying and adapting for people with disabilities anymore. It’s about including and integrating everyone into the swiftly moving day to day world. There’s some great resources surrounding hiring and adapting for people with disabilities in the workplace, as well as info on accessible websites. Of course, questions are always welcome via my communication channels as well. Comment below, or keep the discussion going via twitter or facebook. Also check out Patreon to get a jump on exciting new content on the way.
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