Oklahoma Makes Digital Inclusion for Persons with Disabilities the Law

Oklahoma passed the Electronic Information Technology Accessibility (EITA) Act in 2005, to mandate that state digital services are accessible for persons with disabilities.

Since 2005, this act has had far-reaching effects in the state, beyond government services.

It has, for example, indirectly required other businesses to also improve their online accessibility, such as Desire2Learn, which delivers online classes for schools and universities like Oklahoma State University.

Jim Stovall, president of the Narrative Television Network says that making content accessible has become a necessary business strategy. Stovall himself suffers from visual impairment, inspiring him to develop his network, which narrates TV and movies. He notes that this is not only useful for people with disabilities, but also for those who struggle with the English language.

Fatos Floyd, Field Coordinator at the Department of Rehabilitation Services Visual Services, who is also blind, emphasizes the key role this law plays in terms of digital inclusion. “We (people who are blind) can be an afterthought at times. But if companies would make their websites accessible to begin with, it’s much easier than changing its accessibility after it’s built.”

EITA has clearly had important effects in Oklahoma in helping persons with visual impairments since 2005, and there is no doubt it will continue to mainstream accessibility in technology.

Source: Leilah Naifeh, NewsOK