Eight years ago, the University at Buffalo agreed to make this campus accessible to the roughly 500 disabled students who attend every year. Today, almost a decade later, UB has failed to follow through on that promise.
A woman smacked Steve Stokes in the head with her purse, knocking him out of his wheelchair. She told him he shouldn’t be out in public, that he belonged in a nursing home.
Stokes was a college student in the late 1960s, a time when disabled people often were treated as outcasts. Accessibility on college campuses virtually was nonexistent.
Knowbility is an organization that advocates for technology that allows blind, deaf and otherwise disabled people to use the net. Knowbility’s Sharron Rush and Desiree Sturdevant talk about the challenges they face in raising awareness and changing the laws surrounding online usability.
During her high school years, Lisamaria Martinez, who has been visually impaired since she was 5, carried a 25-pound backpack to school crammed with books written in Braille.
There’s a federal law–the Rehabilitation Act–requiring that federal agencies’ electronic and information technology be accessible to people with disabilities. It’s a law that every agency must take seriously, but many are falling short of the requirements to make web access fully available for 54 million Americans with disabilities.
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