Teaching Accessibility for Digital Inclusion

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Image source: https://img.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://img.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/files/2015/07/accessibilitylab1.jpg&w=480

ICT companies are revolutionizing incentives to improve digital accessibility for persons with disabilities through the “Teaching Accessibility” program, a collaborative initiative from disability advocacy groups, educational institutions, and ICT companies.

This program means to make all technology accessible by design and countries who sign on, including Yahoo, Facebook, Dropbox and LinkedIn, will focus on hiring applicants with an understanding of technological accessibility.

Henry Claypool, former executive vice president of the American Association for People with Disabilities, considers inaccessible technology “dangerously close to discrimination,” emphasizing the proportion of the population with hearing and visual impairments and their exclusion from online content.

Many tech companies already have accessibility projects. For example, Yahoo has its own accessibility lab, which helps employees experience using technology as if they had a disability, to help them design better accessible technology. Various schools also provide similar empirical trainings.

Dropbox’s vice president of people, Arden Hoffman, notes that accessibility is a growing area that will continue to grow throughout the sector. Yahoo VP Alan Brightman is also optimistic. He is sure that this is merely a first step in a wider movement throughout the industry towards a more accessible and digitally inclusive future.

Source: Hayley Tsukayama, The Washington Post