Digital Platforms Are The New Frontier for Accessibility

Jul 21st, 2020

For Immediate Release

Digital Platforms Are The New Frontier for Accessibility

I.T. professionals, who are also blind, work with companies to ensure websites, apps, and other digital properties work as intended across a variety of assistive technologies.

CHICAGO (July 21, 2020)— As the United States celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, the country faces a new frontier of accessibility.  Businesses and other organizations are increasingly under pressure to ensure their digital properties are accessible to all users, including people who are blind or visually impaired. As all aspects of daily life continue to move online, website and app developers must consider how user experiences vary across a range of accessibility tools.
People with disabilities can be a very valuable consumer segment. The Chicago Lighthouse is offering consulting services to help businesses and other organizations optimize their websites and apps to reach potential customers who are blind or visually impaired. Staffed entirely by I.T. professionals who are blind, The Lighthouse’s Digital Accessible Experience (DAX) group evaluates digital properties across various technologies, such as screen readers, digital magnifiers, and other assistive tools.
“As an assistive technology user, it can be incredibly frustrating when a website claims to be accessible, but ultimately is not compatible with the tool I am using,” says Jose Martinez, Lead DAX Analyst at The Chicago Lighthouse. “We created this program to make the internet truly inclusive.”
As part of this work, DAX is partnering with the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) on website and app accessibility audits. The partnership strengthens both organizations’ goals of creating more knowledge-based employment opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired. Both organizations have targeted internet access and usability as an area for growth.
“As we have seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, digital platforms are essential to remaining socially connected and productive,” said Phil Yatvin, Director of Chicago Lighthouse Industries, a not-for-profit affiliated with The Chicago Lighthouse. “It is now even more essential that everyone, including people who are blind or visually impaired, have equal access to these resources.”
To learn more about Chicago Lighthouse DAX, visit: chicagolighthouse.org/dax  or contact Aaron Baar, aaron.baar@chicagolighthouse.org or (312) 997-3662.

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About The Chicago Lighthouse
Serving the blind, visually impaired, disabled, and Veteran communities through innovative education, rehabilitation, employment, assistive technology, and other programs, The Chicago Lighthouse is one of the nation’s most comprehensive social service organizations. For additional information, visit www.chicagolighthouse.org.