Being Proactive About Internet Accessibility

“Knowing how disabled people use the Web is the first step to making the Web accessible…”

After reading this article in Fox News, I find it all the more compelling to support HR3101, the bill that will require captioning of internet video content and will soon be up for Congressional vote, starting in the House of Representatives.  I wrote my Representative this last summer in support of this bill.

I also find it encouraging news that some companies who utilize the internet as part of their product marketing are being proactive in making their websites accessible to the disabled, which also includes the deaf/ hard of hearing.   By doing so, such companies will earn loyal customers from the deaf/ hard of hearing community.

The picture of being proactive about internet accessibility elicits a more positive response rather than dragging one’s feet over accessibility because it’s a law, which in turn makes the disabled wonder “What’s taking ’em so damned long to get around to us as customers?”

The technology is there and soon company CEO’s will no longer be able to ignore the disabled sector without  incurring civil lawsuits.   As one can see, a civil lawsuit is not as cost-effective to a company in the long run as having a proactive policy about internet accessibility for the disabled.   Want more customers?  Make your internet front door accessible for all.

“Experts say accessibility features make a better Internet for all.”

Amen to that.

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4 Responses to “Being Proactive About Internet Accessibility”

  1. Jamie Berke Says:

    Thanks for your blog post! Just one problem – HR 3101 is NOT going to come up for a vote if Representative Rick Boucher does not allow it to proceed to a vote. See the details in this Caption Action 2 blog post: http://captionaction2.blogspot.com/2009/12/two-men-now-control-access-to-internet.html

  2. Dan Schwartz Says:

    The biggest offender is Apple Computer, which deaf people purchase by the droves anyway:

    1) Most all of Apple’s help videos are not captioned;

    2) Apple BLOCKED AT&T from offering a reduced data-only rate for hearing impaired, like AT&T offered for Blackberry & other mobile internet devices;

    3) And of course, there was the “manufacturing error” stripping out the captions from Steve Jobs’ Disney-Pixar when they released UP to the rental shops. ~

  3. ireflections09 Says:

    Jamie,

    Isn’t it something when we Americans think our voices matter and then it comes down to a couple of men who are heads of the very committees that channel any proposals regarding communications issues thru wavelength or digital technology to the Congressional floor?! All the more reason that the deaf/ hard of hearing should challenge communication issues that affect them!

    Dan,

    Yes, I’m aware of Apple’s “oversights”, rather their overbearing exclusivity to the point of minimum standardization or accessibility to its product line, for fear of copycats. And Disney is notorious for the excuses they “manufacture” as well. 🙂 Yet all the more reason to prod companies to do better, and not exclusively, for ALL their customers, disabled included.

  4. Candy Says:

    Just discovered you posted this today!

    I admit I’m not proactive in this area. I kind of have this attitude of: “Others will make this happen” but, that’s wrong. If anything, you have made me think more about how much I can help.

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