Getting Accessible Internet to the Disabled Isn’t So Easy

Getting Accessible Internet to the Disabled Isn’t So Easy

Accessibility to the Internet is a hot topic because, at this point, almost everyone should be afforded Internet access. The fact that some people don’t have access to the Internet puts them at a severe disadvantage. One group that has major problems with accessibility are disabled people. Let’s discuss what can be done about that.

The Less Inclusive Internet

We all use the Internet for multiple purposes, and we all get extremely annoyed when we come across a webpage or an app that is poorly designed and provides a terrible user interface. For people with disabilities it can be even more frustrating. In fact, for some, it makes getting the goods and services they desperately need all but impossible to do online. 

Defining Accessibility 

In the context we mean here, accessibility is basically the usability of a website or app. When people can’t properly navigate, understand, and successfully interact with a web-based platform, its accessibility is limited.

A few standards have been outlined, known by the acronym POUR: 

  1. Content and the overall user interface must be perceivable by everyone, accounting for those who rely primarily on visuals as well as those who require sound or tactile input.
  2. A website must be operable, which requires that those with limitations must be able to identify and navigate through different elements of a webpage.
  3. A user must also find the website understandable, with the information presented on it in such a way that the meaning is clear, and the formatting is consistent.
  4. Finally, a website must be robust, which here means capable of operating properly on a variety of technologies—including assistive technologies.

As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, social distancing guidelines were implemented, making the accessibility of services to people with disabilities extremely important. With everyone thrust into a new system, the inconsistency of the accessibility of applications and websites became frightfully apparent. In America, one-in-every-four people have been diagnosed with some form of disability, so the pandemic made things difficult for nearly a billion people. 

Common Disabilities

Here are a few common disabilities that may make it difficult to work with web pages and apps that don’t work: 

  1. Visual disabilities, including blindness, color blindness, and low vision.
  2. Hearing disabilities, including deafness and hearing impairments.
  3. Neurological disabilities, including conditions and disorders that impact the nervous system.
  4. Cognitive disabilities, including those that impact attention, learning, and logic.
  5. Motor disabilities, including those that limit fine motor skills, slow muscles, or prevent the full use of one’s hands.

These are officially listed in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, a standard that was created by the World Wide Web Consortium and specifically designed to establish some basic oversight over the Internet. It became clear that it woefully neglects some people with disabilities. The WCAG has been a foundational guideline for disabled Internet use around the globe. This includes Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), while others (like the European Standard EN 301 549 of the EU Web Accessibility Directive) incorporate the WCAG’s guidelines into its own contents.

While it’s a good start, these guidelines still seemingly come up short. 

The pandemic exposed the lack of inclusivity. Take a look at the state unemployment sites. Based on research completed by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, 86 percent of these sites failed at least one basic evaluation for mobile loading speed, mobile friendliness, or accessibility. 

Additionally, telehealth interfaces, something that has gained a lot of traction during the pandemic, have been exposed for their lack of usability, consistency, and availability of services like closed captioning have underperformed. 

Furthermore, a survey conducted by Pew Research Center in 2016 revealed that adults with disabilities were about 20 percent less likely to own the technology needed, which is either a computer or mobile device, and the at-home broadband connectivity needed to run these platforms as many disabled people are living on a fixed budget and don’t have the resources to purchase these goods and services.

It is going to be extremely important, with social distancing likely extending into 2022, that more is done to provide disabled people with the accessibility to technology they require for certain situations. Of course, web-based applications and websites are crucial to a lot of people, not just the disabled. Education, healthcare, financial services, and more have to do more to make their applications usable for people as they depend on them during this difficult time. 

Have you had difficult experiences with technology in the last year? What do you think should be done about the lack of accessibility to easy-to-use applications and web interfaces? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below and check back at our blog soon for more great technology content.

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to

Related Posts

Remote workers are changing the way that both employees and their employers are viewing their workspace. It’s been proven that businesses can mitigate their overhead costs and increase their employee retention rate by allowing their team to work from...
The Internet is a fantastic tool that has ushered in an era of productivity and connectivity that we could only previously have dreamed of. Unfortunately, like every great tool, it can be used for darker, malicious purposes. In the Internet’s case, i...
Just like Silk Road (the illegal online black market designed to smuggle drugs around the world), there exists an online trade for zero-day exploits. Unsurprisingly, hackers find it exceptionally lucrative to sell these exploits for profit. Now, ther...
When it comes to business communications technology, you don’t want to be caught using technology that’s outdated. Thanks to the innovations afforded to your company by Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), you can have access to lots of game-changing...
The IT landscape has changed so dramatically over the past decade that businesses need to stop and consider the latest solutions before cycling out their old IT equipment. In the past, when it came time to replace office technology, one would simply ...
Tablets are definitely becoming a staple in the consumer electronics world. For the longest time, the tablet PC was an expensive, clunky device that just didn't wow consumers. Some businesses had adopted tablets back in the day, but they were difficu...
If you’re in the market for a new computer, then you’re going to have to make a decision: Go with a traditional hard drive (HDD), or a solid state drive (SSD). While a computer equipped with an HDD will cost you less money, an SSD promises to faster ...
Replacing your aging or broken-down hardware is a part of doing business, and one that few business owners want to think about before it must be done. Hardware is expensive and tricky to replace without experiencing at least some downtime. That’s not...
October is Cyber Security month. We want to bring attention to this very important issue affecting every person and organization connected to the Internet. When discussing cyber security, we often talk about computer viruses and malware, but these th...
It’s the nature of technology to grow more complex over time, and as it does, the types of threats grow alongside it. Security is now more important than ever before, and if your business is not prepared to handle the threats that lurk in the shadows...
There’s no question about it; hackers make things difficult for businesses of all industries and sizes. They go out of their way to steal data and turn a profit off of it, as well as misrepresent organizations and individuals. The business environmen...
How much does your organization spend on cybersecurity every year? It’s a well-known fact that the Internet houses an incredible amount of threats that consistently pose a significant danger to organizations, so it’s expected that businesses will she...

Onsite Service Coverage Area

Although we provide remote services and support to businesses in over 20 states, onsite services are limited to within reasonable driving distance from our office in NH.  For locations outside of our service area, we will manage a local vendor to provide onsite assistance when needed.


Onsite Computer Support Services are available to businesses within 100 miles of Nashua New Hampshire. We have excellent onsite coverage from Concord NH, south through Manchester NH, and then down into Boston. From Northern and Central Mass, we cover from Worcester, east to the North Shore, including the Salem and Portsmouth NH area.


White Mountain IT Services
33 Main Street, Suite 302
Nashua, New Hampshire 03064



map nashua4 1


Open Positions