Wednesday, April 14, 2021, is National Assistive Technology (AT) Awareness Day. AFB is committed to increasing access to AT and other accessible technologies as part of our public policy advocacy, and AccessWorld frequently features new technologies in its monthly issues. In honor of the day, we are highlighting what assistive technology means to people who are blind or have low vision.

Just as the White House is known as “The People’s House,” the White House webpage should be “The People’s Page,” a digitally inclusive place for everyone. High-profile web pages like this one provide a model for the rest regarding what a website can and should do to be inclusive. Recently, the White House website has been updated to include an accessibility statement. The statement is simple, and serves as a good model to emulate for any organization or company that is committed to digital inclusion.

Procter & Gamble received a Keller Achievement Award for setting a sterling example through its diversity and inclusion initiatives. P&G has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to disability inclusion and making the company, its brands and services more inclusive for people with disabilities.

Tanner Gers wearing a dark suit and tie

Of late, AFB has been celebrating many milestones. Most prominently, we saw the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act earlier this summer, and we have a couple on the horizon, including AFB’s Centennial as well as some exciting forthcoming news concerning the Helen Keller Archive in celebration of the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment.

Today marks the ninth Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), a day designed to get everyone talking, thinking, and learning about digital access and inclusion for people with different disabilities.

By “accessibility,” we mean the design and development of a website (or app, or any digital tool) that allows everyone, including people with disabilities, to independently use and interact with it, as well as create with it and contribute to it.

With COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the news, organizations like AFB are taking steps to flatten the curve. From shifting events from live to virtual, and shutting down schools, to restricting approved business travel, everyone is now looking to make more training materials available online. As we move our interactions to the digital space, it is important we bring the same inclusive lens to our decision-making as we do when planning face-to-face interactions that use technology.