Written by: Sam Graves
Use of this material granted by Michele Landis, Co-Founder of Accessible360
COVID-19 Response Emphasizes Importance of Digital Accessibility
In response to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, more and more people are working remotely, and schools are beginning to have online instruction. Even presidential campaign rallies are being held virtually. These measures are certainly warranted during this public health crisis, and will hopefully make people realize the importance of digital accessibility for people with and without disabilities.
Historically, the disability community has been denied necessary accommodations, such as the ability to receive school instruction online and getting paid for sick leave. Such accommodations may be thought to be too difficult to provide to people with disabilities. But now that we’re in the midst of COVID-19, these and similar accommodations are readily granted.
People with disabilities make up about 25% of the U.S. population. That’s a ton of people who potentially cannot participate fully in society because they aren’t receiving necessary accommodations. My hope is that the COVID-19 response – having online instruction, virtual meetings, food delivery services etc. – will convince more people of the enormous impact of digital accessibility on all aspects of society.
The practices that have been adopted by schools and businesses during COVID-19 cannot stop when this pandemic ends. They must stay in place permanently to ensure the inclusion of all people. Here at A360, we regularly have virtual meetings. As shown by COVID-19, such measures benefit everyone, not just those with disabilities.
For specifics on how to ensure digital accessibility in the midst of COVID-19 and beyond, check out one of our previous blog posts.