Friday, June 5, 2020

Legal Justice Advocates on the Future of Civil Rights: Making the Internet Blind Friendly.

January 13, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( As a disability rights advocate and attorney practicing in South Florida and across the nation, I am asked quite frequently if our nation is done in the battle of civil rights. On behalf of myself and the rest of my team at Legal Justice Advocates I have the displeasure of telling you the truth, it is not. Studies by the Center for Disease Control show that just in the aged population (individuals over 40) 3% of the population are visually impaired or blind. At Legal Justice Advocates we asked ourselves what the math adds up to – its staggering. About 3,400,000 people in the United States alone are blind and over the age of 40. Experienced disability attorneys know that this does not include the potential millions who have not been tested in their adult life, fail to report and most importantly children with ocular disabilities.

Why is this so important? The experienced disability lawyers at Legal Justice Advocates know that the future is online, and the internet for the most part is a visual medium. So are we supposed to give up? Are the blind destined to be cut off from a large portion of how society interacts? How did you apply for your last job? What about your last apartment? How are you reading this post right now – its all online.

The future is online and experienced disability advocates know that a meaningful, discrimination free America means that the internet will be blind friendly too. That being said large businesses still want to fight and prevent this from becoming the norm. Don’t believe us? Check out the recent case where Dominos was willing to fight to the Supreme Court of the United States if they got the chance to prevent accessibility! A recent article can be found here (credit CNBC’s Tucker Higgins).

My name is Jerome Ramsaran, and I along with the other lawyers of Legal Justice Advocates want a discrimination free America, and that includes the internet.

For years I have been a practicing disability rights attorney. As technology becomes more engrained in our everyday lives, a large segment of the population has been denied access to the internet. Studies by the Center for Disease Control estimate about 3,400,000 people in the United States over the age of 40 are blind. These numbers do not include the millions under 40, those who have not been tested, and those who are not reported. As the average age of the population continues to increase, the number of people with visual impairments will continue to climb. The internet, for the most part, is a visual tool. Being so, large sections cannot be fully accessed by those who are visually limited. Should these individuals be denied society’s principal means of communication and access to information?

Of course not.

In an effort to make the internet accessible to all, the Web Accessibility Initiative promulgated the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. The guidelines are a set of technical standards, developed to provide a single, shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of a variety of organizations, companies, and governments. At Legal Justice Advocates, we work tirelessly on behalf of visually impaired Americans to ensure that these guidelines are adopted by all places of public accommodation covered under the ADA. Working along with the other attorneys of LJA we are working towards making the internet blind friendly.

Staff Writer; Brad Love

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