In these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever for organizations and businesses to prioritize accessibility to ensure that people with disabilities have access to critical services and supports. While families endure lock-downs and businesses shutter, the current crisis provides a tremendous challenge and opportunity for businesses to improve the accessibility of online services for people with disabilities.
With doctors and hospitals prioritizing COVID patients, its essential that people with disabilities have full access to online healthcare services. This means providing systems that work seamlessly with assistive technology (AT) devices to allow people with disabilities to:
- Order Prescriptions and Medications Online
- Schedule online appointments with healthcare providers
- Receive healthcare (including mental health counseling) online
- Use accessible health monitoring and wellness technology
By providing online healthcare services in accessible formats, we can ensure that the most vulnerable members of society have access to critical supports and services.
As restaurants have closed their doors to customers, many are providing online delivery or curbside pickup for customers. For online orders, its critical that websites and apps work well for assistive technology users. Accessibility barriers may prevent AT users from placing orders and receiving deliveries of essential food supplies including:
- Online grocery orders and deliveries
- Restaurant take-out and delivery orders
Without access to accessible online services, the most vulnerable members of our society may be forced to visit stores and restaurants in person to get essential items.
Entertainment and Well-Being
As people with disabilities seek to avoid exposure to COVID-19, more people are looking at online options for entertainment, exercise, and other activities. It is essential that people with disabilities have access to services that promote well-being in the home including:
- Virtual yoga and exercise
- Online streaming services
- Video and other online communication
- And more
We are in uncertain times with COVID-19. The lack of clarity regarding the duration and scope of lock downs has caused tremendous uncertainty for people with disabilities and the community at large.
To ensure that people with disabilities can receive essential services, and that businesses reach the widest audience possible, we should redouble our efforts to provide accessible online services for people with disabilities.
We are ALL in this together!
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