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Accessibility Laws and Regulations
Today, May 9, is Global Accessibility Awareness Day — a great day to become aware of laws around the globe that impact digital accessibility. Laws related to digital accessibility support and protect the civil rights of people with disabilities. Core components of life in the 21st century exist in the digital space, and without accessibility, basic human rights are diminished or completely denied. These include the right to education, employment, public services, health care, community, travel and more. Laws protecting the rights of people with disabilities to access digital content — whether found on the web, in a mobile application, through electronic kiosks or elsewhere — are an important piece of the puzzle that makes digital accessibility a reality.
In the Spring of 2013, Lainey Feingold will be presenting at both the CSUN International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, and Knowbility’s John Slatin AccessU, two of the country’s most well-regarded disability technology conferences. Read about her presentations in this post.
Senator Kerry was eloquent. 89-year old Bob Dole emailed from Walter Reid hospital and made it to the Senate floor to urge a yes vote. Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng wrote a supporting letter. Veterans, disability and civil rights group lobbied, tweeted, and organized. But it wasn’t enough. On December 4, at 9:29 a.m., thirty eight Republican Senators voted against the United Nations Convention of the Rights of People with Disabilities (#CRPD). Thirty eight votes is all it took to deprive the majority of the 2/3 vote needed to ratify a basic human rights treaty already approved by over 120 countries around the world. Yesterday at 9:29 a.m. human rights lost. The victors, to quote the New York Times, were “purveyors of paranoid politics.”
On Tuesday December 4th, the United States Senate can join over 120 other countries and ratify the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Supporters of the treaty span almost the entire political spectrum – President Obama, Senate Democrats, the U.S. disability community, 21 faith organizations, 30 veteran organizations, movie critic Roger Ebert, and the U.S Chamber of Commerce and former president George HW Bush, to name just a few.
Who’s missing? The Tea Party wing of the Republican Party. Led by Rick Santorum and Tea Party front group Patriot Voice, the far right threatens to derail years of work by human and civil rights activists around the world. The CRPD vote will be a showdown between Tea Party activists and those who believe people with disabilities around the world deserve education, employment, and basic human and civil rights.
On March 15, 2012, federal regulations with detailed Talking ATM requirements will finally be mandatory. The Talking ATM standards come at the end of a long (and continuing) road of grass-roots and legal advocacy in the U.S. and around the globe. March 15, 2012 is more than twelve years after the first Talking ATM was installed in the United States. Tens of thousands of ATMs now talk, but still too many do not.
Lainey Feingold will be presenting two times at the 27th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference in San Diego in late February - early March, 2012. Commonly referred to as CSUN, the abbreviation for conference sponsor California State University Northridge, the conference is the largest conference of its kind on technology and people with disabilities.