Twenty Second Anniversary of the
and Still Much of the Internet is Not accessible! ADA
I got an E-mail from our local center for independent living reminding us to Celebrate, as it is the 22nd anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
It is true that Many things have changed for the better. Most colleges and universities now have Disabilities Office Coordinators and many of these people have disabilities themselves. More of us are seen in public doing ordinary things: shopping, eating at restaurants, crossing streets, taking the bus or train, and joining in community projects.
I would like to Thank the Veterans of the Vietnam War who helped to make the Americans with Disabilities Act a reality. Their contribution was Major.
It is also true that there is a "Smart Phone App." Coming out which will allow sighted and deaf-blind people to communicate. I cannot afford a "smart phone" and couldn't see to make it app.s work if I could afford one. Thank goodness most deaf-blind people are Not totally blind, as I am!
But the unemployment rate for blind people has remained at 79 to 80 percent ever since I can remember
While technology Has allowed me to communicate with you and an amplified cell phone and hearing aids will allow me to call for help in an emergency, there is NO website, Absolutely None, which I can manage and maintain independently.
What this means is that many blind and deaf-blind people who Could work are Not working. Those who do have websites also tend to have wives, and sometimes husbands, or parents who do the management of their internet work for them.
Blind and deaf-blind people can bake, make home made pasta, make drink mixes, dolls, doll clothing, decorative ornaments and wreaths, do wood working, build furniture, make baskets, carve, sculpt, paint with the vision they have, write songs or music, do bead work, weave, knit, crochet and embroider, and come up with Many original ideas and helpful items for All people. But without sight they Cannot sell Any of these items. Maybe I should start a petition on Sum Of Us.org to try and make paypal, Internet Explorer 9, and websites Fully accessible to Screen Readers, (talking computers) and Braille displays.
Disabled people, (especially disabled women) are among the poorest people in this country. And worldwide they are among the most Marginalized, usually having to beg by the roadside for their very Survival! I am angry and tired! For Years, these are the populations I have wanted to target, along with hopefully raising my own income a bit. But I have to try and find a "good hearted person" who will serve as a webmaster until my site starts to make money and I can pay them. This is the conclusion of the Access Technology people who Know what they are doing.
I have no husband, partner, my sisters work and my mother is herself disabled. SOL! That's where I am. What next? I have already asked one person to consider being a webmaster for minimal pay. Honestly, I expect to Lose money at first, between paying payppal, a non-volunteer webmaster, (if one can be found) and little or no activity at first.
There is much to celebrate, curb cuts, accessible buildings, beeping elevators which tell blind people what floor they are on in a public building, and accessible public transportation in many places.
I am Thankful for all of these Positive changes! And at the same time I wish McDonald's hadn't taken Braille markings off of their drink lids, that all restaurants had one Braille menu each, and that the internet, supposedly the most "progressive" force in society, were fully accessible to blind and deaf-blind people. It would also be nice if elevators and bathroom doors were marked in a Standard place, so I don't have to feel all over a men's bathroom door to find out it is the wrong one.