What has the Internet done for us?

The Internet is today celebrating its 25th birthday. The Internet has bought about many changes that are incredibly positive for people with disabilities and this is what we want to discuss and celebrate.

In the words of Monty Python, as opposed to the Romans, what has the Internet done for us?

  1. Online shopping allows those with mobility problems the ability to do their food shopping and take their time looking at anything they want to buy without relying on public transport or needing help and support from anyone.
  2. Many businesses have an instant online chat service for you to talk to an adviser by typing messages. This is ideal for reaching out to deaf customers in real time.
  3. Audio description also helps those with autism. People who struggle to understand emotions, sarcasm or to recognise faces follow the plot better. Judith Garman from Mindful resources expands on this concept
  4. Video calling allows deaf people to sign to each other. Facebook was recognised as being a powerful resource for this, Read more at the BBC
  5. Regulatory changes like those brought in by the Department of Transport in the US open up online booking of travel and tourism to the USA by making their websites accessible, again making it easier to shop around and get the best deal.
  6. Accessible ebooks allows students access to the same reading material as their peers, reducing the need for classroom support and increasing independent learning.
  7. Online banking gives people greater access and control over their money, so making this accessible is a must. There is still work to be done in this area but both Barclays and Legal & General are doing great work in this area.
  8. Twitter hosts excellent discussion grounds like AXS chat bringing together experts in accessibility and individuals wanting to learn more.

To list all the ways the Internet has changed the world would take a very long time and I don’t believe it is at all possible to explain the impact it has on individual lives, the network, the support, simply knowing you aren’t alone.

There is still work to be done though, and I hope our list inspires you to think how your digital content can be more inclusive.

Why not tell us how the Internet has helped you in the comments below.

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