Another dot in the blogosphere?

ADA and transfer

Posted on: July 28, 2020

I learnt from this news video that the American Disabilities Act is 30 years-old.

Video source

When I used to teach a web design and HTML course in the USA, I recall having to address the issue of disabled-friendly websites.

What I learnt then was that such accommodations were not for a minority. The changes we make for the one seemingly small group can often help larger groups.

The interviewee in the video made this point: Everyone can use a ramp. Not everyone can use the stairs. What seems to service most people (stairs) excludes a few; what is provided for the few (ramps) actually helps many.

The ramps are not just useful for people in wheelchairs. They are also used by parents with young children in strollers, delivery people with trolleys, and old folk on mobility scooters.

For an example online, consider closed captions in YouTube videos. They are be useful for the hearing-impaired and they can also be used by learners of a new language.

This is how help for one group transfers to help for other groups. Such help might not be planned for these other groups, but it is used serendipitously and strategically by them.

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