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December 3 every year is the United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities. To mark this occasion, our team would like to take a moment to remind everyone out there how important inclusion is in everyday life. Not just for websites, not just for restaurants, and not just for places that are legally required to be accessible.
Why do we observe the International Day of Persons with Disabilities?
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared 1981 as the International Year of Disabled Persons, and the UN General Assembly proclaimed 1983-1992 the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons. In 1998, the observance turned into a yearly event, one that sought to promote support for the rights of persons with disabilities.
Each year’s observance has a unique theme. For instance, 2022’s theme was “Transformative solutions for inclusive development”. The fact that there has to be an International Disabled Person Day to call attention to the lack of inclusion and accessibility is something we sincerely hope isn’t necessary for the future. It should be a given that anyone no matter their ability level should have the chance to lead and succeed.
How can we help with raising awareness of the needs of persons with disabilities?
On an organizational note, as we continue to develop UserWay’s integrated accessibility solutions, we’d like to get even more input from everyday users who need accessibility tools.
What frustrates you? What tools or accommodations would make visiting sites easier? Because you are our leaders, and the reason we do what we do each and every day. Making a widget is great, but actually helping tear down those barriers is the main mission for us – more so than you can possibly imagine.
How does website accessibility help persons with disabilities?
According to the World Health Organization, one billion people (15% of the world’s total population) have some form of disability. The US alone has close to 57 million people with a disability, and 23% of these people say they never go online.
The lack of website accessibility might contribute to the lack of internet participation among persons with disabilities. A significant majority of websites are inaccessible to people who rely on assistive technology to consume content, including 92% of the most popular federal government websites. Making websites accessible will ensure that millions of people around the world can find what they need – and drive traffic to your business. However, the costs associated with making websites accessible are too prohibitive for most businesses.
How can I make my website accessible to disabled people?
Depending on the number of pages on your website, you can expect to spend tens of thousands of dollars to make them compliant with accessibility standards. If you constantly create new pages and upload new content, you will have to spend even more money to find potential compliance issues and make the new pages accessible.
In contrast, deploying an automated accessibility tool like UserWay will allow you to find and resolve existing accessibility issues quickly and easily with minimal effort and at a low cost. It also ensures that any new content is automatically compliant with the standards. The UserWay accessibility widget also allows users with disabilities to adjust your website’s display settings such as contrast and text size so that they can browse through your content.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do we celebrate disability day?
There are over one billion people with disabilities worldwide. Many of them cannot participate in society and economic activities because of the lack of physical and digital accessibility. There are also misconceptions about persons with disabilities that keep them from being considered productive members of society. We observe the International Day of Persons with Disabilities to remind everyone that an accessible, inclusive world is one that empowers and gives opportunities to disabled persons.
Who promotes the International Day of Persons with Disabilities?
The World Health Organization was the first global body to declare a specific period to raise awareness of persons with disabilities, followed by the UN General Assembly. The United Nations has declared December 3 each year as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. At the local level, countries and state/city governments worldwide have their own unique ways of marking the date.
How can we make others aware of the needs of people with disabilities?
Aside from observing the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, you can also raise awareness of disabilities year-round. You can start by educating yourself about different types of disabilities. You can also be an advocate for more inclusive public spaces, including businesses and websites. If you have a website, you can make it accessible to everyone by installing assistive technology, such as an accessibility widget like UserWay.