The ADA passed 30 years ago. Why are cities still horribly designed for people with disabilities?

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According to a new study, an incredible 65% of curb ramps and 48% of sidewalks are not accessible for people with disabilities, even though this violates federal law. Why aren’t cities complying? It’s been 30 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law. A landmark piece of civil rights legislation, the ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities and mandates the removal of barriers to equal participation in public life. Those barriers are often physical – buildings only accessible by stairs, crosswalks unsafe for those with low or no vision, steeply sloped walkways that put wheelchair users at risk. Getting rid of these physical barriers lies at the heart of the ADA’s intentions. Read Full Story

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30 years after the ADA, disabled workers continue to fight for employment equality

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The passing of the civil rights law ushered in a new beginning for workers with disabilities. Unfortunately, an unintended consequence of the bill is companies’ hesitance to hire more of these workers and offer accommodations. Street curbs must be wheelchair accessible. Discriminating against disabled job candidates is illegal. Businesses must remove any architectural barriers when updating existing facilities. Read Full Story

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The ADA has shaped physical space for 30 years. The internet hasn’t caught up

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On the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, its author reflects on why it’s so important—and how far we still have to go when it comes to digital accessibility. This summer, the United States is marking a momentous milestone: the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, or the ADA. The act, of which Tony was the primary author, was without a doubt the single most important piece of legislation for an entire generation of Americans with disabilities. It so dramatically changed daily life in America—mandating physical measures such as handicapped parking spots and accessible restrooms, equal rights for service in restaurants for patrons with disabilities, and equal pay for workers with disabilities—that today, younger Americans with disabilities can hardly imagine the realities we both faced. Read Full Story

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How to Meet ADA Website Compliance

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The terms “website accessibility” and “ADA website compliance” are increasingly being bounced around in the online business world—there’s a good chance you’ve heard of it. But many people still don’t know what, exactly, ADA website compliance means—or how it can impact a business. I’ll clear up all the confusion and give you a step-by-step guide to making sure your website is ADA compliant—and explain why it matters. What Does ADA Website Compliance Mean? “ADA” refers to the Americans with Disabilities Act , which was signed in 1990. It was amended in 2009 to expand the definition of disabilities and specify which businesses must adhere to ADA requirements. The law provides those with disabilities fair and equal access to housing, employment, transportation, and other life areas. That includes access to online services, but because business websites weren’t as ubiquitous when the bill was signed, there’s some confusion around which sites need …

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It’s time to end the law that lets businesses pay less to people with disabilities

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In 2020, businesses can still legally pay their employees with disabilities less than the federal minimum wage—we need to put an end to this. The continued struggles of women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities to achieve equality in the workplace are partly the result of societal and cultural forces, but they differ in at least one key respect: The law explicitly enables employers to pay workers with disabilities less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25. In other words, under the law, individuals with disabilities may earn less than their colleagues who are not disabled due to a trait they cannot change. Read Full Story

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Five retail and marketing trends for 2021

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30-second summary: Ecommerce is getting obsolete as the lines between online and offline get blurrier. Biometrics is gaining ground as an independent payment option. Humans are natural at speaking, as opposed to typing. And in a ‘back to basics’ scenario, voice proves to be the future of search. Brands can no longer afford to be neutral about social issues, not as long as they seek loyalty, authenticity from customers. The growing trend of subscription retail serves both ends well: sellers can optimize their supply chains, and buyers can enjoy a better shopping experience. 2020 has been a tough year for the world and retail in particular. Physical stores were closed and the disruption of supply chains slowed deliveries. However, innovation didn’t stop evolving. If anything, 2020 has also proved a decisive year, transforming the landscape of retail and marketing towards relationship commerce, improved seamlessness, and local retail. This article explores …

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7 tangible ways to make vaccine websites more accessible

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Vaccine registration websites weren’t designed for the people who need them most. Here are easy fixes that don’t require starting over. Across the U.S., online registrations for the COVID-19 vaccine are failing to consider some of the most vulnerable groups of people: seniors, those with disabilities, and certain racial and socioeconomic groups. Read Full Story

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33 million Americans are still offline. It’s time to bridge the digital divide

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This Capgemini exec says we have a digital inclusion problem that has put those without the connectivity skills and access at a severe disadvantage. Businesses are more digitally connected than ever as a result of COVID-19. Most CIOs I speak with have told me it has accelerated their organization’s digital agenda by five years, and the demand for “digital everything” from the business has maxed the IT organization’s capacity. Yet, this connectivity puts many in our society at a disadvantage. People who have access to the internet and connected devices also have access to most of the opportunity, education, training, and career options. But those without these resources, who are already economically disadvantaged, struggle more to learn and grow, advance their education, or advance their careers in the job market. And according to a Pew Research Center study , there are 33 million Americans (10%) who are currently offline. These …

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4 reasons why hiring disabled workers is good for business

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The pandemic has hit the disabilities community particularly hard. This founder of a startup that makes software more accessible warns that’s a major loss for your innovation. Everyone has been struck by the pandemic, but the individuals who typically fail to be taken into account in society and business have felt some of the harshest blowback of all. Diverse employees have been facing greater challenges , work-related stress, and fear for their professional futures more than non-diverse workers. A million U.S. workers with disabilities lost their jobs between March and August last year, and by the end of 2020, the unemployment rate for the community reached 12.3% —nearly double the 6.2% national average. We need to be springing into action now to make sure the most vulnerable groups in society aren’t excluded from tomorrow’s workforce. Read Full Story

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