2.1: Planning Your Accessibility Strategy
Assessing Business Resources
Unlike a large organization, you may not have the financial resources to hire skilled specialists, and may need to depend upon external contract resources.
Your personnel need to know how to find the skilled expertise that can perform the required tasks effectively and efficiently, and procurement must understand how to assess tools for usability.
Accessibility is about expanding market opportunities to achieve sustainable growth in revenue, return on investment, and profitability. Accessibility is not just about meeting legal compliance. Best intentions and wishful thinking won’t achieve good design, but deliberate actions will.
Assessing Technology Innovation
Electronic curb cuts, like the sidewalk curb cut, has evolved to benefit many other people without disabilities. There are many instances of advancements made with disabled people in mind that have yielded benefits for the greater good.
- Pellegrino Turri developed one of the first working typewriters in 1808 to help his blind friend write more legibly.
- Some 70 years later, Alexander Graham Bell developed the telephone in support of his teaching of deaf students.
- The first audible book was recorded in 1935 by the American Foundation for the Blind.
- In 1972 Vinton Cerf, an ARPANET developer, used text messages extensively to communicate with his deaf wife.
- In 1979, closed captioning for television programming was invented, allowing the deaf to ‘listen’ to TV programs.
All of these inventions, of course, became common in the everyday lives of the general population.
Keep a close watch on the current technologies used by people with disabilities. Use that information to plan for future growth.