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In today's rapidly evolving technological landscape, accessibility has emerged as a cornerstone of innovation. As technology infiltrates every aspect of our lives, it's imperative that we ensure inclusivity for all, particularly those with disabilities. Nonprofit organizations, with their focus on societal betterment, play a pivotal role in driving the development of tech solutions that cater to diverse user needs. This article delves into the significance of designing accessible and inclusive tech solutions within the nonprofit sector, with a special emphasis on people with disabilities.
Inclusivity is no longer a mere buzzword; it's a moral and ethical obligation in the digital age. As society continues to adopt technology as a means of communication, education, and engagement, failing to consider the needs of individuals with disabilities would perpetuate the digital divide. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 15% of the world's population lives with a disability. This sizable demographic should not be overlooked in our digital endeavors.
Tech accessibility goes beyond providing ramps or Braille labels. It encompasses an array of considerations to ensure that digital platforms, applications, and content are usable by everyone. This includes, but is not limited to, catering to individuals with visual, auditory, cognitive, and motor impairments. From designing user interfaces that are screen reader-friendly to providing alternative text for images, the process is intricate and requires meticulous attention.
While adhering to accessibility standards and regulations is crucial, the benefits of inclusive tech solutions go beyond mere legal compliance. Such solutions often boast enhanced usability and a broader reach, positively impacting users with and without disabilities alike. An accessible website, for instance, is not only navigable for those with visual impairments but also for individuals accessing it on mobile devices in a noisy environment.
Coordinated Assistance Network (CAN) is a proud Partner of accessiBe, The #1 Fully Automated Web Accessibility Solution for ADA & WCAG Compliance.
Your CAN team firmly believes that the internet should be available and accessible to anyone and is committed to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience, regardless of circumstance and ability. To fulfill this, CAN aimed to adhere as strictly as possible to the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG 2.1) at the AA level. These guidelines explain how to make web content accessible to people with a wide array of disabilities. Complying with those guidelines helps CAN ensure that the website is accessible to all people: blind people, people with motor impairments, visual impairment, cognitive disabilities, and more.
CANportal.org utilizes various technologies that are meant to make it as accessible as possible at all times. We utilize an accessibility interface that allows persons with specific disabilities to adjust the website's UI (user interface) and design it to their personal needs. Additionally, the website utilizes an Al-based application that runs in the background and optimizes its accessibility level constantly. This application remediates the website's HTML, adapts Its functionality and behavior for screen-readers used by the blind users, and for keyboard functions used by individuals with motor impairments.Furthermore, investing in accessible design from the outset can save nonprofits time and resources in the long run. Retrofitting existing technology to accommodate accessibility features can be both complex and costly. By adopting an inclusive mindset from the beginning, nonprofits can avoid such pitfalls.
In the realm of nonprofit work, leveraging technology for champion change is a powerful endeavor. However, this endeavor must be grounded in the principles of inclusivity and accessibility. By designing tech solutions that cater to diverse user needs, nonprofits can fulfill their mission to create a more equitable world. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, it's imperative that we view accessibility not as an afterthought, but as a fundamental building block of progress. Through this commitment, nonprofits can lead the charge towards a future where technology truly benefits all members of society, regardless of their abilities.
By: Sydney Marks
Coordinated Assistance Network is proud to present The Momentum to Modernize Grant (M2M) M2M is intended to provide technology that produces transformational resources for nonprofit infrastructure, efforts to scale, and implementation support. CAN is granting 75 in-kind grants to organizations for “Black Level” CAN portal licensure. Click here to learn more about M2M.