April 24, 2023Keine Kommentare

Stepping Stones to Inclusion: The Power of Disability Representation

Inclusion is a fundamental right regardless of people’s abilities or disabilities. However, the lack of representation and awareness of disabilities in society has resulted in the marginalization of people with disabilities. This is where disability representation plays a crucial role in breaking down barriers and promoting inclusion.

Why do we need more adequate representation of people with disabilities?

It is essential to acknowledge that people with disabilities are often overlooked and underrepresented in various aspects of life. This lack of representation can subsequently lead to a lack of understanding and empathy towards people with disabilities, hence perpetuating harmful stereotypes and discrimination. Therefore, it is important to ensure that people with disabilities are represented in all aspects of society.

Disability representation allows for a more accurate portrayal of the disabled community, promoting inclusivity and diversity. Additionally, disability representation provides opportunities for people with disabilities to have a voice and advocate for their needs and rights. We can’t emphasize the importance of disability representation in society enough! When people with disabilities are represented and included, it helps to break down stereotypes, foster understanding and generate acceptance.

Challenges of disability representation

By portraying people with disabilities as fully realized individuals with hopes, dreams, and struggles, both media and entertainment can help break down stereotypes and promote inclusion. Still, we face the following challenges:

Lack of authenticity

Many representations of disability in the media are not authentic. They can be stereotypical or inaccurate. Often, people with disabilities are portrayed by actors without disabilities. This can lead to misconceptions and negative attitudes toward people with disabilities.

Limited opportunities

People with disabilities are often underrepresented in the media. If they make appearances at all, people with disabilities may find themselves relegated to stereotypical roles such as villains or inspirational figures. This limits the opportunities for people with disabilities to showcase their talent and ability in a wide range of roles.

Lack of diversity

Disability is a complex and diverse experience. But the media tends to portray a narrow view of disability. People with a wide spectrum of disabilities from different races, genders, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic backgrounds are often excluded from media representation. The portrayal of people with disabilities is mostly limited to white, male, and wealthy characters. This, in turn, perpetuates stereotypes and further marginalizes individuals with disabilities.

Accessibility of media

People with disabilities often face barriers to accessing media. The lack of captioning, audio descriptions, or other forms of accessibility are some examples. This can make it difficult for people with disabilities to fully engage with and enjoy media content.

Stigma and discrimination

Negative attitudes toward disability are pervasive in society. Consequently, the media can perpetuate these attitudes by portraying people with disabilities as helpless or burdensome. Hence, stigma and discrimination make it more difficult for people with disabilities to fully participate in society.

Therefore, it is important that we continue to push for more diverse and accurate representations of disability in the media and entertainment industries. Everyone must be able to perceive themselves reflected in the stories we tell!

Examples of disability representation in movies

Coming from our own background, we’ve looked specifically for instances of characters using power wheelchairs in movies - and we were quite successful! These recent examples (and others like them) show the power of disability representation in shaping public perception and understanding of disability.

"The Theory of Everything" (2014)

In the 2014 biopic "The Theory of Everything", actor Eddie Redmayne portrays physicist Stephen Hawking. The movie follows Hawking from his days as a Ph.D. student at Cambridge. There, he falls in love with fellow student Jane Wilde, and continues to his groundbreaking work in the field of cosmology and his struggle with ALS.

Eventually, the disease leaved Hawking fully paralyzed. Still, Hawking makes significant contributions to science and becomes one of the most influential scientists of the 20th century. The film also explores Hawking's personal life and the challenges he faces in his relationship with Jane as his condition worsens.

"Me Before You" (2016)

The 2016 movie "Me Before You" is a heartwarming romantic drama about Will (Sam Claflin) and his caregiver Louisa (Emilia Clarke). Despite their initial differences, they form a strong bond. Louisa works tirelessly to show Will, a tetraplegic, the joy and beauty of life.

In the end, Will's decision to end his life is a difficult one, but his love for Louisa allows him to find peace. The film is a celebration of love, compassion, and the power of human connection. It raises ethical and moral questions about assisted suicide and the right to die on individual terms, as well as the value of life and the importance of cherishing every moment.

"X-Men: First Class" (2011)

Our most favorite character in a power wheelchair is certainly Charles E. Xavier, also known as Professor X! In the 2011 movie "X-Men: First Class", Xavier is shown using a power wheelchair after sustaining a bullet wound to the spine.

Hence, Professor X is an important example for disability representation as a powerful and successful leader of the X-Men. The character challenges stereotypes. It offers a positive and empowering portrayal of disability by highlighting the potential of people with disabilities.

Furthermore, Xavier's character is relatable to many people with disabilities as he grapples with issues of identity, social stigma, and discrimination – nevertheless, using his disability as a source of strength. Overall, Xavier's character offers a reminder that disabilities can be a part of one's identity, but they do not define a person's worth or potential.

What can I do to support disability representation?

Living with a disability can be challenging in many ways. While there are certainly many resources and support systems available, it may still feel isolating to navigate the world with a disability. That's why it's so important to have representation in the media and in our communities. Representation can help break down stereotypes, increase understanding, and foster a sense of belonging for people with disabilities.

Here at munevo, we're committed to promoting diversity and inclusion - and we want to help amplify the voices and experiences of people with disabilities. That's why we're asking for your support! If you have a disability and would like to share your story, we'd love to hear from you.

You can send us videos and/or pictures that represent your experiences as a person with a disability. We want to showcase a wide range of experiences, so don't be shy! Everyone's story is important and empowering. We'll use these videos and pictures in our social media and marketing materials as examples for role models - with your explicit permission of course.

By sharing your story, you can support others in similar situations, help to break down barriers and create a more inclusive society. So please don't hesitate to send in your videos and/or pictures! You can e-mail them to us at marketing@munevo.com - and if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to us. We're looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for helping us promote diversity and inclusion!

Written by Dana Meichsner

Februar 27, 2023Keine Kommentare

Stepping Stones to Inclusion: Empowerment

Empowerment is the act of building strength and confidence. When it comes to people with disabilities, empowerment can be one of many important stepping stones on a personal journey towards success - and living a happy, fulfilled life.

The world is full of possibilities. Hence, everyone deserves a chance to explore and achieve their goals. Unfortunately, not everyone has an equal opportunity to do so. Especially for people with disabilities, society often presents significant barriers that can make it difficult or even impossible to pursue individual goals and turn dreams into reality.

However - there is hope!

Strategies for people with disabilities to overcome barriers

As a society, we tend to focus on the limitations of individuals with disabilities. We often assume that people with disabilities cannot live independent lives, pursue careers, or enjoy life to the fullest. But this is simply not true!

First and foremost, it is important to recognize that everyone has unique abilities and limitations. Consequently, we all have our own sets of challenges to overcome. And it is up to us to decide how we want to approach them. However, it is important to remember that everyone can be happy and successful regardless of disability.

As an individual with disabilities, there are a few key steps that can help you to empower yourself:

  1. Educate yourself about your rights and what you are entitled to. It is important to know that you have the same rights as everyone else. There are many resources available that can provide you with information about your rights.
  2. Build a support network of family, friends and professionals who will help you to reach your goals. It is important to have people in your life who believe in you and your ability to succeed.
  3. Set realistic goals for yourself. Choose goals that you are truly passionate about and that you feel confident you can achieve.
  4. Once you have chosen your goals, create a plan of action that will help you reach them. This plan should include specific steps that you will take and deadlines for each goal.

Finally, it is important to persevere and never give up on yourself. Remember that you have the power to achieve anything you set your mind to. Never let anyone tell you that you cannot succeed because of your disability or disabilities.

Identifying resources for the empowerment of people with disabilities

The goal of empowerment is to promote a sense of self-determination and self-advocacy for people living with disabilities. Consequently, we must ensure that individuals have the knowledge and resources needed to make educated decisions about their lives and to participate in their communities.

Possible resources for empowerment include:

  • Engaging in educational opportunities or job training programs,
  • Connecting to mentors who are experienced in working with people with disabilities,
  • Advocating for better access to public transportation and healthcare,
  • Getting emotional support and guidance in navigating life’s challenges.

All the above will help you to build the strength and confidence you need to achieve your personal goals and live a happy, self-determined life.

Contributing to the empowerment of people with disabilities

As a society, we have come a long way in understanding and respecting individuals with disabilities. We must continue to provide stepping stones to an environment that embraces diversity and inclusion as we strive to make the world more equitable for everyone.

Here are some ways that all of us can contribute to empowering individuals with disabilities:

Increase awareness!

Learn about the issues faced by people with disabilities. There is a lot of misinformation out there, so it's important to educate yourself and others on the challenges faced by the disability community. Stay in the know about disability rights and issues that affect disabled people. Make sure that your workplace, school, or community has resources available for individuals with disabilities.

Be a role model!

Show others that people with disabilities can lead full and successful lives by supporting the good cause - and living your own best life!

Advocate for change!

Speak up for policy changes that will improve the lives of people with disabilities. This can be providing accessible transportation, housing and employment opportunities. Use your voice to support inclusive policies and practices that will empower people with disabilities.

Provide support!

Offer encouragement and goal-oriented help to tackle the challenges people with disabilities face. Emotional support is also important, especially when people with disabilities experience discrimination or stigma.

Celebrate accomplishments!

Recognize the achievements of people living with disabilities by celebrating successes in any way possible - from writing a social media post to hosting special events. The feeling of being valued and appreciated is an important key to empowerment.

Get involved!

Get involved with disability rights organizations. There are many ways to participate, whether it's volunteering your time or donating money to support their work. These organizations provide vital outreach programs and services for those living with disabilities all over the world.

As we’ve seen, we all share the responsibility to ensure that individuals with disabilities receive the same opportunities as anyone else in our society, regardless of ability level or diagnosis. By taking steps towards empowerment together, we can create a more inclusive society where everyone has the opportunity to shine regardless of their circumstances!

Written by Dana Meichsner

Februar 27, 2023Keine Kommentare

Inklusion erreichen: Empowerment

Empowerment bedeutet, Stärke und Selbstvertrauen zu entwickeln. Besonders für Menschen mit Behinderungen ist Empowerment wichtig - um Inklusion zu erreichen und ein glückliches, erfülltes Leben führen.

Die Welt ist voller Möglichkeiten. Daher verdienen alle Menschen die Chance, ihre persönlichen Ziele zu erreichen. Aber leider bekommen nicht alle die gleichen Chancen. Gerade für Menschen mit Behinderungen gibt es oft erhebliche Barrieren. Diese Barrieren können es schwer oder sogar unmöglich machen, individuelle Ziele zu verfolgen und Träume Wirklichkeit werden zu lassen.

Aber es gibt Hoffnung!

Barrieren überwinden: Empowerment-Strategien für Menschen mit Behinderungen

Gesamtgesellschaftlich betrachtet neigen wir leider dazu, uns auf die Einschränkungen von Menschen mit Behinderungen zu konzentrieren. Wir gehen oft davon aus, dass Menschen mit Behinderungen nicht unabhängig leben, Karriere machen oder das Leben in vollen Zügen genießen können. Aber das stimmt so einfach nicht!

In erster Linie ist es wichtig anzuerkennen, dass jeder Mensch einzigartige Fähigkeiten und auch Einschränkungen besitzt. Folglich haben wir alle unsere eigenen Herausforderungen, die es zu meistern gilt. Und es liegt an uns selbst zu entscheiden, wie wir diesen Herausforderungen begegnen wollen. Deshalb ist es wichtig, fest daran zu glauben, dass jeder Mensch auch mit seinen Behinderungen glücklich und erfolgreich sein kann.

Besonders wenn Ihr selbst mit Behinderungen lebt, können Euch die folgenden Schritte helfen, Euch zu stärken und selbstbewusster zu werden:

  1. Informiert Euch über Eure Rechte und was Euch gesetzlich zusteht. Menschen mit Behinderungen haben die gleichen Rechte wie alle anderen auch. Viele Ressourcen können Euch auch online Informationen über Eure Rechte geben.
  2. Baut Euch ein Netzwerk aus Familie, Freunden und Fachleuten auf, die Euch dabei helfen, Eure Ziele zu erreichen. Menschen in Eurem Leben zu haben, die Euch unterstützen und an Euch glauben, macht einen riesigen Unterschied!
  3. Setzt Euch realistische Ziele. Sucht Euch Ziele aus, für die Ihr wirklich leidenschaftlich brennt. Und nehmt Euch am besten Dinge vor, von denen Ihr überzeugt seid, sie erreichen können.
  4. Sobald Ihr Eure Ziele ausgewählt habt, macht Euch einen Aktionsplan. Das hilft Euch, Eure Ziele auch wirklich zu erreichen. Euer Aktionsplan sollte einzelne Etappenziele enthalten. Setzt Euch Fristen für jedes Etappenziel.

Schlussendlich ist es vor allem wichtig, durchzuhalten und (sich) niemals aufzugeben. Vergesst nie, dass Ihr alles erreichen könnt, was Ihr Euch vorgenommen habt. Lasst Euch niemals von jemandem einreden, dass Ihr aufgrund Eurer Behinderungen nicht glücklich und erfolgreich sein könnt!

Ressourcen für das Empowerment von Menschen mit Behinderungen

Das Ziel von Empowerment ist es, das Selbstbewusstsein und die Selbstwirksamkeit von Menschen mit Behinderungen zu fördern. Folglich müssen wir sicherstellen, dass es uns allen möglich ist, unsere eigenen Lebensentscheidungen zu treffen und an der Gesellschaft teilzuhaben.

Mögliche Ressourcen für Empowerment sind:

  • Teilnahme an Bildungsangeboten oder Berufsausbildungsprogrammen,
  • Verbindung zu Mentoren herstellen, die Erfahrung in der Arbeit mit Menschen mit Behinderungen haben,
  • Sich für einen besseren Zugang zu öffentlichen Verkehrsmitteln und Gesundheitsversorgung einsetzen,
  • Emotionale Unterstützung und Anleitung bei der Bewältigung der Herausforderungen des Lebens finden.

All das kann helfen, die notwendige Stärke und das Selbstvertrauen zum Erreichen persönlicher Ziele aufzubauen - für ein glückliches, selbstbestimmtes Leben!

Wir alle können Menschen mit Behinderungen unterstützen!

Es ist wichtig, Menschen mit Behinderungen zu verstehen und zu respektieren. Ein Umfeld, das Vielfalt und Inklusion ermöglicht, macht die Welt für uns alle gerechter und lebenswerter. Hier sind einige Möglichkeiten, Menschen mit Behinderungen zu stärken:

Bildet Euch!

Lernt mehr über die Probleme von Menschen mit Behinderungen. Es gibt viele Fehlinformationen da draußen. Daher ist es wichtig, sich selbst und andere über die Herausforderungen zu informieren, mit denen Menschen mit Behinderungen konfrontiert sind. Bleibt auf dem Laufenden über die Rechte von Menschen mit Behinderungen und Themen, die Menschen mit Behinderungen betreffen. Und helft dabei, dass an Eurem Arbeitsplatz, in Eurer Schule oder in Eurer Gemeinde Ressourcen für Personen mit Behinderungen zur Verfügung stehen.

Seid ein Vorbild!

Zeigt anderen, dass auch Menschen mit Behinderungen ein erfülltes und erfolgreiches Leben führen können. Indem Ihr die gute Sache unterstützt - und Eurer eigenes, bestes Leben lebt!

Setzt Euch aktiv für Verbesserungen ein!

Sprecht Euch für positive Veränderungen aus, die das Leben von Menschen mit Behinderungen verbessern. Dies kann beispielsweise die Bereitstellung von barrierefreien Transport-, Wohn- und Beschäftigungsmöglichkeiten betreffen. Nutzt Eure Stimme und Euren Einfluss, um integrative Richtlinien und Praktiken zu unterstützen, die Menschen mit Behinderungen stärken. So können wir gemeinsam Inklusion zu erreichen.

Bietet Unterstützung an!

Bietet Menschen mit Behinderungen Ermutigung und zielgerichtete Hilfe bei der Bewältigung von Herausforderungen an. Emotionale Unterstützung ist ebenfalls wichtig, insbesondere wenn Menschen mit Behinderungen Diskriminierung und/oder Stigmatisierung erfahren.

Feiert Erfolge!

Erkennt die Leistungen von Menschen mit Behinderungen an, indem Ihr Erfolge auf jede erdenkliche Weise feiert - vom Posten auf Social Media bis hin zum Ausrichten besonderer Events. Das Gefühl, gebraucht und geschätzt zu werden ist ein wichtiges Element für Empowerment.

Macht mit!

Engagiert Euch für und bei Behindertenrechtsorganisationen und -verbänden. Es gibt viele Möglichkeiten, beizutragen - sei es durch ehrenamtlichen Einsatz oder Geldspenden. Viele seriöse Hilfsorganisationen bieten wichtige Outreach-Programme und Dienstleistungen für Menschen mit Behinderungen auf der ganzen Welt an.

Wie wir gesehen haben, tragen wir alle die Verantwortung dafür, dass Menschen mit Behinderungen die gleichen Chancen erhalten wie alle anderen – und zwar unabhängig vom Fähigkeitsniveau oder der Diagnose. Lasst uns den Weg zu mehr Empowerment für Menschen mit Behinderungen ebnen und Inklusion erreichen. So können wir eine integrativere Gesellschaft schaffen, die allen die gleichen Möglichkeiten auf ein glückliches, erfülltes Leben bietet!

Geschrieben von Dana Meichsner

Januar 30, 2023Keine Kommentare

Stepping Stones to Inclusion: Reframing Disability

People with disabilities are often seen as a burden to society and may be viewed as people who can't contribute. They are said to only take away from the resources others could make better use of. This negative view of disability is not only harmful to people who live with disabilities. It also creates even more barriers that prevent people with disabilities from fully participating in society. Therefore, reframing disability is an essential stepping stone to inclusion.

Creating a new narrative around disability

To create an inclusive environment where all people can contribute their unique perspectives, we can consequently begin by reframing our view of disability. All in all, it's quite simple to use more empowering and inclusive language.

Let’s look at a few examples!

  • Instead of using phrases like “suffering from disability”, which includes (frankly quite poor) judgement, we may just say “has a disability”.
  • Let’s not talk about a person being “tied to their wheelchair”. We want to emphasize the personal freedom and independence all assistive technology provides to people - and consequently, just call it “using a wheelchair” or “driving a wheelchair”.
  • We’ve already written about accessibility in our last blog post: a wheelchair is not keeping its driver from entering a building. It's the building that does not provide sufficient accessibility.
  • Also, we may not want to talk about having a “blind spot” anymore. Instead, we can say that there may be a “gap in our perception”.

You get the picture: an important step to reframing disability is reflecting on the language we’re using. In turn, the perception of language also has a powerful influence on people’s views.

The importance of role models

Simultaneously, let’s raise awareness for the importance of role models who embrace their differences! Role models show others how they can be successful with disabilities. They are inspirational figures exemplary for people with disabilities. Role models help to feel accepted and included in society.

There are a lot of role models out there to follow - it's beneficial to get their perspective first-hand in their won words. Why don't you start with our brand ambassadors Saskia and Brook?

Both Saskia and Brook are strong advocates of their communities. They're leading interesting, inspirational lives with lots of powerful stories to share.

Disability and representation

Representation is a powerful tool to reframe our views on disability. Showing people with disabilities in a realistic, positive light - whether it's through media, art, or simply by having more visible representation in everyday life - can help change the way people think about disability.

Fun examples for representation can be found in the book “Reframing Disability in Manga” by Yoshiko Okuyama. The author analyzes popular Japanese manga published from the 90s to the present that portray the everyday lives of adults and children with disabilities in an ableist society.

Reframing disability through education

Another way to help reframe the way society views disability is through education. For one thing, it's important for people to understand that disabilities are not always visible. And likewise, that just because someone doesn't "look disabled", doesn't mean they aren't. It's also important to learn about the various types of disabilities and how they can impact a person's life.

The Disability Center of UA Little Rock is a great example for available resources on reframing disability. They help people to see disability less as a burden or limitation, but rather as an opportunity for growth, learning and adapting differently.

Obstacles and opportunities

By reframing our view of disability from one that sees disability as an obstacle to one that embraces differences and celebrates diversity, we can create a more inclusive future for everyone in our society. As we’ve learned, there are many ways each of us can help to reframe the way society views disability.

“The most interesting people you'll find are ones that don't fit into your average cardboard box. They'll make what they need, they'll make their own boxes.”

- Dr. Temple Grandin, American academic and animal behaviorist with autism

Obviously, improving understanding, communication, education and visibility around people with disabilities can help to create a more inclusive world for everyone. Consequently, telling the story of people with disabilities in an inclusive, empowering and beneficial way requires us to look at the potential benefits that also come along with disability rather than focusing solely on the downsides and limitations.

In general, society has been viewing disability through a lens of pity for far too long. It's time to reframe the way we think about disability. One of the best ways to do that is through inclusion. Inclusion doesn't just benefit those with disabilities. Inclusion benefits everyone.

By including people with disabilities in all aspects of life, we create a more tolerant, understanding world for everyone. We also open new possibilities and perspectives that can be transformative for us all.

Written by Dana Meichsner

Coming up…

In our next blog post we’ll take a closer look at ending ableism. Stay in the know on the latest blog posts - subscribe now to our munevo newsletter. We won't spam or annoy you, promise.

Dezember 7, 2022Keine Kommentare

Stepping Stones to Inclusion: Accessibility

In our last post, we have highlighted the important role assistive technology plays in empowering people with disabilities to live independently and participate in all areas of society. Just recently, Apple released an amazing video with lots of examples on how assistive technology we all know (and use) is consequently integrated to support the lives of people with disabilities. We get a glimpse of how environments can be designed to support and provide accessibility.

Accessibility is livability

All of us are differently abled. Still, there are universal necessities: the quality of being reached and being able to enter, of being easy to use and obtain, of being easily understood and appreciated. Originally, accessibility mainly referred to a barrier-free design of buildings and other, rather static measures. Today, accessibility is all about fulfilling the needs and wants of all people to provide quality, safety and livability.

"Everybody should be able to decide freely when to eat what, when to go to bed and how to live. People with disabilities have the same right to live in a nice apartment as people without disability."

Raul Krauthausen, author and disability rights activist

Krauthausen makes it very clear: whilst society and individuals generally strive to fulfill the needs of people with disabilities, their right to self-determination is often bluntly ignored – even with the best intentions. Requiring support and assistance for independent living does not equal to assuming dominion over every aspect of a specially abled person’s life. It is everybody’s responsibility to cater to the needs of people with disabilities: at an individual’s very own terms. Communication, negotiation and respect are the keys to inclusion. True empowerment lies in the freedom to make life choices and follow through with them. It is our responsibility as a society and as individuals to facilitate this empowerment.

How do we achieve accessibility?

A wide range of measures comes to mind: structural measures include, for example, tactile floor indicators with grooves and knobs as a guidance system for non-seeing and otherwise visually impaired people. Software like screen readers provides accessibility by converting information displayed on the screen into speech output and Braille, or special magnification programs. A combination of structural measures and hardware aids is, for example, an inductive hearing system in which a microphone signal – for example of a speaker in a lecture hall – can be forwarded to the hearing aids of the people in the room. We have wheelchair ramps included in most public buildings. A wheelchair itself is an assistive technology providing enhanced accessibility. Not less - and not more.

"One week ago, someone talked about me as "the wheelchair". I am not just my medical device. I am not just "the wheelchair" or “the disabled”! I am a human, a person, a woman, a sister, a friend, a daughter and so much more... Everyone is unique and being different should be normal. Don't forget that!"

Saskia Melches, disability rights activist

In public spaces, state laws prescribe a supportive infrastructure that facilitates accessibility. Still, all of us know what it is like to be stuck at a sidewalk curb, not being able to cross the street because cars are blocking our way where they are not supposed to be parking. All of us know what it means to face broken elevators and escalators or to find ourselves at a long staircase with no way around it. We are all aware of what it means not to be able to open a door because we may lack the necessary means to do so - because we carry something, for example, or we do not have command over our hands due to illness or other physical conditions. A few examples already suffice to illustrate that, whilst we all have different resources to deal with the lack of accessibility, it still concerns each of us. Essentially, this also means that we all can profit from enhanced accessibility.

Accessibility includes accessibility of online content

Of course, the first hurdle to access online content is owning a connected device and being able to operate it accordingly. This given, accessibility on the internet means that people with disabilities can use an online offer as easily and independently as possible. For accessible web design, basic technical aspects such as different web browser versions, operating systems or screen sizes of devices must be considered. In addition, the content of a website should be findable and usable for everybody.

Barrier-free web design must also consider that people with disabilities could be unable to see or hear the content poorly or not at all - or may otherwise be cognitively and/or motorically impaired. Easy language (often also called plain language) is one possibility to facilitate accessibility. Technical aids may be necessary to use a website. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has created a standard: the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) provide orientation on the various requirements for barrier-free websites. The WCAG are continuously updated and currently in their third iteration phase.

Accessible web design is a necessity, but still not as widely implemented as it should be – often due to a lack of awareness and/or effort. But the real magic happens when both elements come together: barrier-free design of the environment and accessible web design. Google just recently showed a great example of how to connect the respective advantages. They rolled out more AR and accessibility-focused features in Google Maps.

Let’s shape the future together!

We can conclude that efforts and (especially technical) progress are already there. Still, for many of us who struggle with accessibility issues, necessary measures are taking way too long to implement due to the lack of awareness for people’s needs. There is a lot of room for significant improvements. Environments of any kind must be shaped to include all people as soon as possible. Let's make a difference - together!

Written by Dana Meichsner