Coronavirus Pandemic Showed Importance of Digital Access for People with Disabilities

“But in the digital world, the picture is not so rosy. In this world, the digital equivalents of ramps and rails remain lacking. Countless websites are not designed or implemented in ways conducive for users with varying forms of disability. They have insufficient color contrast, missing or meaningless alternative descriptions, or are lacking in transcripts, closed captions, accessible forms and documents, and keyboard-friendly navigation. For Americans with challenges seeing, hearing, understanding, or otherwise navigating the online world, these and other small pitfalls can become massive stumbling blocks. They can impede access all together…

But I believe the first pandemic of the digital era will help change that. In the midst of COVID-19, we’ve all grown increasingly reliant on accessible digital services. This is the first moment in my career that I can recall so many Americans having a front-row seat to the reality that has existed for decades for Americans with disabilities: When leaving your home presents challenges, access to digital resources is not a luxury. It is a requirement."