Accessibility options exist with each of the big three tech companies, Google,Microsoft (opens in new tab), Apple (opens in new tab). That’s a move in the right direction, but it is not enough. Currently, creating accessible content requires content creators, rather than platform providers, to do the heavy lifting. Each company’s platform design places accessibility in the hands of the content creator as an afterthought.
Call to Action: #AccessibilityFirst
- Make accessible the default, rather than a technique that content creators must be trained in and work to access.
- Make accessibility a core functionality, not just a feature.
- Incorporate accessibility into the design rather than something that is checked afterwards.
- Ensure accessibility is visible in main menus rather than something you need to leave the document for and click multiple times to access.
- Integrate accessibility rather than making it an add on.
- Create default settings that make accessibility automatic rather than something that must be turned on.
- Show an error message when inaccessible content is being created, just like when you have a misspelling.
People with disabilities are the world's largest minority group. When accessible is not integrated into the design of content creation platforms, that sends a message from these companies that more than 1 billion people around the world (source: World Heath Organization) with disabilities are an afterthought.
These companies were created by young, able-body individuals who themselves are becoming older and less able-bodied. As the leaders of these mega-billion-dollar company’s age, and their users age, it is clear there needs to be a shift to a more inclusive default.
Let’s put out a challenge to the big three, Microsoft, Apple, and Google. Lead the way to making inclusive digital content a core feature, not an optional afterthought.
Lisa Nielsen (@InnovativeEdu) has worked as a public-school educator and administrator since 1997. She is a prolific writer best known for her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator. Nielsen is the author of several booksand her writing has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times,The Wall Street Journal, Tech&Learning, and T.H.E. Journal.