Accessibility doesn’t start with a website. It starts with digital equity

Coverage Type: 

When we say “accessibility,” many of us think about adding keyboard navigation, high color contrast, and alt text to a website. But the reality is, even with accessibility features, your website is still inaccessible to millions who don’t have internet access or training to use a computer. The digital divide remains – 15 million Americans don’t have a computer and 24 million don’t have broadband. And DC is no exception. DC has the country’s highest gap in internet access relative to household income: 91 percent of households that earn $50,000 or more have home internet, compared to only 46 percent of households earning less than $20,000.

If you care about accessibility from the ground up, do something for your community:

  • Get involved and give back. This doesn’t have to be with your money (though funding certainly makes a difference!)
  • Volunteer your time with organizations like Byte Back to mentor or tutor
  • Ask your company to take action to bridge the divide, asking “who’s missing?” in hiring to increase diversity and offering incentives for employees to volunteer and give back
  • Share your support for the Digital Equity Act of 2019, which could provide more than $1 billion for digital inclusion programs nationwide

[Yvette Scorse is the communications director for Byte Back, a DC-based nonprofit focused on providing a pathway of inclusive tech training that leads to living-wage careers.]

Accessibility doesn’t start with a website. It starts with digital equity