In 1992, the United Nations declared 3 December the International Day of Disabled Persons and this year, the theme is ‘Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities.’ The aim is to promote an understanding of disability issues and to mobilise support for the dignity, rights and well being of persons with disabilities. As an estimated one billion people live with disabilities worldwide,so its remains crucial for businesses to seriously consider their practices in reaching and empowering the ability of disabled people to access information online.
The internet and its associated technologies have the potential to give people with disabilities the means to live more equally in a society that is becoming rapidly more digital. A disabled person may find online shopping or banking more accessible than actually going out onto the high street. Even so, people with disabilities face as many different barriers online as there are types and degrees of disability. A person with a visual impairment who uses screen-reading software may be confronted by websites that have confusing navigation, or that lack description of images.
The exclusion of disabled people becomes more compelling as technologies converge and the pace of change increases with more and more products and services made available solely through new digital means. What this means is that in today’s technology-driven world, there is an opportunity for businesses to reach into broader audience segments by making digital information accessible..
Removing obstacles for disabled users has become a mounting issue for mobile and tablet technologies. As mobiles and tablets become the dominant access point for audiences to receive information, it is time for businesses to design their technology at the outset for accessibility and usability for people with disabilities. If disabled people cannot access the information on their mobile devices, they are cut out and may be left with a negative attitude, which reflects badly on brand.
Businesses can seek out cloud based web accessibility solutions like Recite Me that work across all devices. So whether your audience is trying to access information at home, at work or on the move, the content remains easily customisable and accessible regardless of device. This kind of technology is at the heart of what the International Day for Disabled Persons is all about. Creating a platform for disabled people to customise web content according to individual need and preference.