The Legal Value Of Accessibility

Introduction To The Legal Values

What Are The Legal Costs Of Accessibility?

In the past three decades there has been an important paradigm shift catalyzing the development of new legislation and policies concerning persons with disabilities (PWD), from segregation to integration, from institutionalization to mainstreaming, from the medical model of disability being viewed as a condition to be treated, to the social model of disability focusing on the removal of disabling barriers in the environment that hinder full participation in society.

Governments around the world are legislating Digital Accessibility Laws, as technology alters the way we interact with the world around us, and users increasingly desire flexibility that allows a wide diversity of user devices, and a responsive interface that customizes the style and format for their environment. This trend increasingly exposes organizations to the threat and cost of litigation, public relations issues, and loss of government contracts.

The Electronic Curb Cuts

Digital accessibility is the digital equivalent of the wheelchair ramp for sidewalks. The provision of digital access is often termed the
electronic curb cut.
The need of the person in a wheelchair to be able to navigate efficiently, is the same at that moment as the need of the mother pushing a baby in a pram, a person pulling a suitcase or a delivery man with a cartload of products. The design improvements made to allow for the curb cut for wheelchair users benefits many others at the same time.
Alexander Graham Bell developed the telephone to help his deaf mother hear better,
Pellegrino Turri developed one of the first working typewriters to help a blind friend write more legibly,
and Thomas Edison invented the Phonographic books to speak to blind people without effort on their part.
these inventions benefit many people and have long been considered mainstream technology in turn leading to newer innovations.

Accessibility Laws Around the World

Some Legal Accessibility Resources