Today is the sixteenth United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), which takes place annually on December 3rd around the world.
The theme for this year’s IDPD is “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”.
This theme focuses on empowering persons with disabilities for the inclusive, equitable, and sustainable development envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – this includes digitalization and smart cities.
To achieve this agenda it’s essential that people with disabilities have full and equal participation in all areas of society.
It’s also critical that society creates enabling environments by, for, and with persons with disabilities.
But of course, inclusive societies must also think about digital accessibility as well as physical accessibility.
The power of the web for inclusion in everyday activities
When World Wide Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee created the web he believed it could help to empower all members of society and democratize media by making information accessible to everyone.
He said: “The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect…The Web is fundamentally designed to work for all people, whatever their hardware, software, language, location, or ability.
“When the Web meets this goal, it is accessible to people with a diverse range of hearing, movement, sight, and cognitive ability.
“Thus the impact of disability is radically changed on the Web because the Web removes barriers to communication and interaction that many people face in the physical world.
“However, when websites, applications, technologies, or tools are badly designed, they can create barriers that exclude people from using the Web,” – Sir Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director.
Getting web accessibility right
This means that people with disabilities should have inclusion in all everyday activities online.
At this time of year, this requires ensuring that people with disabilities can do every day things online that many of us may take for granted.
These include online shopping for Christmas presents, going online to book a Christmas lunch at a restaurant, or booking travel tickets to go and visit family and friends.
Ultimately, all organizations must consider web accessibility and make sure they make their websites accessible so that people with disabilities can access their goods and services online.
Thousands of organizations already use Recite Me to make their websites more accessible for people with disabilities – call (+1) 571 946 4068 to find out more or book your free demo now. If you want to test your own website for a range of different accessibility factors, then try the Recite Me accessibility checker today.