In the last couple of years, a global pandemic has changed our lives forever. As the outside world had to close down to a large degree, our online world took over. Having the internet meant for many businesses, the difference between shutting down or staying afloat. It was the only option for many families or friends to keep in touch or still be able to see each other. We are all very grateful, I’m sure, that we have had the internet during the pandemic. But, while it has most definitely been beneficial for us, it has posed a number of difficulties for many of those living with a disability. Using an accessibility overlay on a website is removing those difficulties for them.
Why is it a struggle for some disabled users on the internet?
Just as a disabled person may need help to access a building, or a room, or to get on and off the sidewalk, they may also need help accessing certain features of a website. The needs of each disabled internet user vary so there is no one thing to change on a website that will be a solution to everybody’s needs. Take for example, a person with a hearing impairment will have much different needs to a person with a visual impairment. The one with the hearing impairment may struggle to watch any videos shown on the site. The one with the visual impairment may struggle to read the font size or may not be able to read the page at all. These are just a couple of examples but, with such a variety of disabilities, there are also a variety of things to implement on a website to help disabled internet users.
Making websites accessible now
As the pandemic has made the internet even more essential in our lives, the number of websites has grown rapidly. Governments in many lands have been making laws for a number of years to protect the equal rights of disabled ones when using the internet so big strides are being made in the right direction. But with so many new websites popping up, there is still much work to be done. And many of those creating these new sites may not be aware of the legal ramifications involved if they don’t make their websites accessible.
Giving disabled people the same access to internet sites as everyone else should be a priority. It is what they deserve, it is the right thing to do, and it is the legal obligation of those with a website.