General people who do not suffer from partial or complete disability can access the web apps smoothly but the others who do suffer, do not. When we as web developers are not sensitive and empathetic enough to consider the challenges people with disability go through, we end up creating sub-par products (in a way that discriminates against them).
There are two major examples of the same:
A blind man denied food at Domino’s:
The food chain’s website (a few years ago) was not accessible to a blind man and hence he was unable to order food. As a result, he sued Domino’s. The blind man, Guillermo Robles was unable to use the website/app even though he was using a screen reader.
This brings out another point for the web developers here blind people or people using screen readers are not exposed to the same DOM that the general audience does. They are exposed to the equivalent “Accessibility Tree”
The court announced the decision in favor of Guillermo Robles and set an example for the other big conglomerates. The court and the accessibility advocates celebrated this and educated the world that if the businesses do not make their products (websites/mobile applications) accessible, then this excludes such people from the economy (and basic rights)
People with partial/complete disability unable to apply for jobs
For the longest time, the majority of the “Careers” pages where people apply for jobs were not accessible. Not only that, web apps and products that were dedicated to job-hunt were inaccessible too.
This, in a way, disbarred people with disabilities to apply for jobs.
Here are the accessibility ratings/issues for prominent job search portals
2. Wellfound (formerly AngelList Talent) — Startup Job Search
Accessibility issues from the landing page of Wellfound via axe DevTools — Web Accessibility Testing
3. Amazon (Careers Page)
The Vital Importance of Web Accessibility and Inclusion
As you can see, the major job portals are severely lacking accessibility support which hinders people with disabilities from using the product.
We, as web developers, especially as Frontend Engineers need to understand our responsibilities towards the society. When you see a blind man able to book a medical appointment using your application or a COVID-19 vaccination using your “accessible” product , you feel empowered. In this moment, our jobs as engineers is way more than just a “Job”
To know more about web accessibility, you can explore:
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