No architect can get away with designing a building without wheelchair ramps, elevators and accessible bathrooms, because there is a permit needed and inspections are made prior to the first brick being laid. But, for people with print handicaps, equal access is more and more often a digital issue. Elevators can be many thousands of dollars, while making accessible websites, software and digital interfaces on appliances, office equipment and entertainment systems is a matter of 1s and 0s. There should be a process of certification for any new sites, software or equipment using digital technology and for any changes to existing ones to ensure equal access. Everyone else should be given a year to fix their issues, and there should be stiff penalties for those who fail to comply. In absence of that, we are left with a "separate but not equal" standard for civil rights for people with disabilities. People with disabilities shouldn't be put in the position of having to enforce the laws. Even government sites, which are theoretically mandated to be accessible, have serious issues. Executive orders from at least two presidents went unheeded and un-followed-up on. If the government doesn't take this seriously within their own house, how
can we expect others to.
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