A Blueprint for an Accessible Internet

December 17, 2018

Despite being home to a wealth of information, the Internet largely remains unaccommodating to about 15 percent of the world’s population. 

Although federal agencies and departments are required by law to make their sites accessible, only about 40 percent of disabled American adults feel comfortable using the Internet according to a 2016 Pew survey. In the United Kingdom, the number drops below 30 percent. 

For example, someone who relies on voice commands to operate a computer has to sit and listen to every element on a single page just to get one piece of information. Gifs and other web components that flash more than three times per second can cause an epileptic to have a seizure.  

In a recent interview with Quartz, Internet Hall of Fame Inductee Vint Cerf described the web’s lack of handicap accessible sites. Cerf is color blind and hearing impaired. 

“It’s almost criminal that programmers have not had their feet held to the fire to build interfaces that are accommodating for people with vision problems or hearing problems or motor problems,” Cerf said.