Most communications today occur online - be it sending emails, processing payments, organising your schedule or contacting people. If you are an entrepreneur or a professional who largely depends on the internet, navigating through new visual features like drop-down menus, log-in and other options is already considered tricky or difficult. But imagine doing all this with your eyes closed. This is exactly what the web experience seems like for visually impaired users. It is important to remember that every day, millions of visually impaired people use the internet everyday and face several problems.
Just like everyone else, the internet is critical to the blind community as it helps them various activities like gathering knowledge, entertainment or running a business. Tasks that cut down the need to physically travel and inconvenience individuals like online shopping, bill payment, etc can be indispensible to the community. But are things that easy?
Gaining access to the internet for the visually impaired is frankly, an expensive, tedious and litigious affair. The internet is primarily a visual mode of communication with few additional options for sound. This makes it very difficult for a blind person to navigate through the web comfortably. Although screen readers do make it easier for the individual to learn what is displayed on the screen, it isn't easy enough. Screen readers essentially do just that, read any content on the screen with an audio or Braille output.
Earlier, screen readers only worked when the web content was copy/pasted into the software but today, things are different. Advanced versions of screen readers today are able to decipher different types of content like texts, links, pages, photos, heading, menu/body text etc. Certain screen readers can also delineate between link menus, body text and headers, allowing better organisation and navigation.
The answer is an emphatic no. While the software to convert visual data into something compatible for a blind individual, it isn't sufficient. The tools offered with screen readers are only efficient if the information found on the website is such. Websites without any accessibility features aren't compatible with screen readers or their new features, making it a major challenge for visually impaired users to comprehend the information.
While the technology allows these users to be able to read any content without trouble. most websites today aren't geared towards accessibility for the blind community. Adapting websites to the unique needs of the visually impaired is often considered as an afterthought, which makes it difficult for users to access most sites with ease. The difficulty level of accessing the web also depends on the severity of the visual impairment that can range from colour blindness, night blindness, partial blindness to complete blindness. In most cases, the experience was rated a polar good/bad depending on the website accessibility.
Making websites more accessible and compatible with screen readers can enhance the navigation and overall satisfaction of using the web. A few steps to build a website for accessibility goes a long way.
About 44% of people with disabilities are women. They have limited opportunities and are denied most of their basic rights. The Horticulture Training Center at APD has worked with and trained several people to manage women with disabilities.Read More >>
The development of people with disabilities is considered a part of the overall development of their families and local community.Read More >>
APD recognizes that the size and complexity, not to mention the urgency, of the challenge of rehabilitating millions of people with disabilities spread across the country, is too large for any one organization.Read More >>
APD provides financial, technical and management advice to several community organizations that work as viable interfaces between persons with disability and local authorities.Read More >>
APD’s Urban Advocacy work in Bengaluru and municipalities of Kolar, Bagalkot, Chikkaballapur and Bidar includes helping people claim rightful benefits under the laws of education, livelihood, mobility assistance, transport concessions and housing schemes.Read More >>
Therapeutic care is an essential part of the rehabilitation process that helps in regaining strength, relearning skills or finding new ways to perform day-to-day activities.Read More >>
In Karnataka, an estimated 7.2 lakh youth with disabilities in the age group 16 to 35, with no employable skills or relevant education, require livelihood support to ensure a life of independence and self sufficiency.Read More >>
Bangalore Urban has a very high drop-Out rate of Children with Disability from mainstream schools. Sarva Siksha Abhyan (SSA) estimates a mere 25% of those who start out in Class I, stay on in school, till Class X.Read More >>
APD is a pioneer in setting up rural, community-based livelihood programs. Youth with disabilities from economically backward strata have benefitted from these opportunities.Read More >>
The APD Industrial Training Centre offers vocational training programmes recognized by the NCVT (National Council of Vocational Training) scheme of the Department of Employment and Training, Government of India.Read More >>
Retaining children with disabilities in schools is a huge problem and we see 60-70% of them drop out after primary education.Read More >>
APD’s Early Intervention Program aims to identify disability and malnutrition at the initial stages and provide suitable aids and a holistic treatment. This is to ensure that children reach their maximum potential for development in these early years.Read More >>
APD’s Community Learning Centre program has been operational since 2007. We enroll children from surrounding urban slums and low income families.Read More >>
Shradhanjali Integrated School, founded in 1973, is a recognized primary school up to Class VII under the SSLC Board, with a capacity to educate up to 200 children. The school maintains an 80:20 ratio of children with disabilities and the non-disabled to promote inclusion.Read More >>
APD aims at ensuring inclusive growth, skills development initiatives are being undertaken across various sectors, to meet the demand for skilled manpower by training youth in short term courses including soft skills.Read More >>
In the last 10 years, we have reached out to almost 2000 people with mental illness through targeted activities like identification, providing access to mental health care and social & economic rehabilitation.Read More >>
APD’s Assistive Devices unit has been producing custom aids and appliances, since 1982, to meet the emerging needs of persons with disability. About 3000 PWDs assessed by the internal therapy unit or identified in rural or special orthopaedic camps, are provided each year.Read More >>
APD is the only organisation which has various comprehensive, structured and community-based programs for people with spinal cord injuries (PSCI). Currently, we have the capacity to annually rehabilitate 360 people suffering with SCIRead More >>