Website accessibility for persons with disabilities continues to be important. Recent news shows renewed focus in India and the USA. The Indian Government is working towards making 917 State Government websites accessible for the disabled and 100 accessible websites have already been launched as part of India's Web Accessibility Project for state government and union territories, as part of its Accessible India Campaign. It is important to note that these sites are compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines published by the Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium.
Todd Paton gives an overview of the existing problem and suggests possible approaches to website accessibility, exhorting Companies, give people with disabilities access to the superhighway.
Does Your Company Website Comply with Title III of the ADA? from Lexology, explains the topic from the viewpoint of US companies' concerns with lawsuits, the state of the law in the USA, and achieving compliance with the US Americans with Disabilities Act.
Some good news is that Vision's Top 9 Digital Trends in Local Government includes as its 9th trend: 'Web Accessibility is Here to Stay: Government websites have often ignored users with vision loss, hearing impairments and other disabilities. Web accessibility will continue to get the attention it deserves. Not only are local government agencies recognizing that greater accessibility for web visitors is the right thing to do, it's the law. Local agencies should appoint an accessibility coordinator and adopt a formal accessibility statement that outlines key standards and provides a contact for reporting issues.'
According to UN estimates, there are 1 billion people with disabilities in the world. The factors that contribute to increasing this number include war and destruction by natural as well as human causes; poverty and unhealthy living conditions; and the absence of knowledge about disability, its causes, prevention, and treatment. The Internet provides new possibilities for social inclusion and for safeguarding the rights of persons with disabilities.
Internet access is growing rapidly, yet large groups of people remain unconnected to the Internet. As of 2015, about 43% of people had access to the Internet (in developing countries only 34%). Access to ICTs is part of the Sustainable Development Agenda, which commits to ‘significantly increase access to ICTs and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020’ (Goal 9.c).