On July 17, IDEATE went to the FCC in Washington to attend an all day event focusing on accessibility and social media hosted by the FCC’s Accessibility and Innovation Initiative. The event brought together representatives from government agencies, disability advocacy groups, technology companies and members of the public to discuss tools and best practices for making social media accessible.
We know that technology can level the playing field. But not only that, we went because the development and adoption of accessible, universally designed technology is critical to making sure people with disabilities succeed at work and deliver for their employers.
But we still have a long way to go as we learned at the #AccSocMedia event. Check out the toolkit developed by U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), the U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies and the Social Media Accessibility Working Group, a committee within the Federal Social Media Community of Practice.
This year marks the 24th anniversary of the passage of the ADA. The ADA was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush and is a ground-breaking piece of civil rights legislation that recognized and sought to reverse the discrimination that people with disabilities face in all areas of everyday living.
Without the ADA, the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) of 2010 wouldn’t have been possible. This act was critical to engaging and introducing compliance practices that make information online equally accessible to everyone.
Technology has the power to vastly improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities by promoting full inclusion, economic independence, access to education, and positive experiences reconnecting with loved ones or networking. In order to sustain our progress, those of us using technology must continue consider the differently enabled to harness both the technology and talent that is both innovative and inclusive.