Spreading accessibility online is a relatively new issue, as the internet itself is relatively new. However, online accessibility is just as important as physical accessibility offline. For our readers who work with online content, here are a few ideas for spreading accessibility. First, according to the article “Why bother with accessibility?” on 24ways.org, when designing accessible online content, consider four main areas of accessibility for people with different types of disabilities – visual, or “easy to read”, auditory, or “easy to hear”, motor, or “easy to interact”, and cognitive, or “easy to understand and focus”. Usually it’s not that difficult to make a website accessible, and depending on your content, there are resources available to help you. One such resource is the automatic captioning available on Youtube. Unfortunately, YouTube’s automatic captioning isn’t always reliable or completely accurate. A comprehensive guide both for turning on automatic captioning and for editing the captioning to be specific to your video can be found at, “Increasing accessibility: captioning on YouTube” at Legal Services NTAP. Taking the few minutes to turn on automatic captioning or better yet, to edit your video to have more accurate captioning, is a powerful step towards making the online community a more inclusive environment.
Emily Pate is a third-year student at Seattle University interested in Strategic Communications, learning Spanish, and working with non-profits. Her work for Rooted In Rights is focused on discussing current events in the community of people with disabilities. Her experience previous to Rooted In Rights includes writing broadcasts for KBOO radio in Portland, OR, and managing a neighborhood blog in the Seattle community. In addition to work, Emily enjoys drawing, spending time with her friends and family, and backpacking.