EOC calls for online disability access standards for computers

calls for better user experience on websites for blind people

There is nothing special about using the net. Millions of us do it daily. But how would your life change if you could not see a screen?

Sat Abdi, 51, is blind and confronts the problem daily.

Several websites are incompatible with his screen browser. It’s a kind of assistive technology that clarifies content onto a display for folks who are vision impaired, blind, illiterate or have a learning disability.

Mr Abdi said about half the sites he visited daily were nearly impossible to navigate.

Mr Abdi finds online shopping, booking flights and applying for jobs are also significant hurdles.

Mr Abdi has urged companies and web developers to make sure their sites are compatible with screen readers and include written descriptions for graphics.

The problem has been in the spotlight in America recently, with tens of thousands of lawsuits filed against firms in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act 1990.

That legislation provides protections and equal opportunity for people with disabilities to services and products.

In Australia, the Human Rights Commission only got a handful of complaints this past year, but disability advocates claimed it was a significant problem that had slipped under the radar.

WA Equal Opportunity Commissioner John Byrne said the issue wasn’t isolated to individuals with a visual handicap.

The Human Rights Commission has made several resources available to help companies ensure their sites comply with the DDA.

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