If you have read some of my posts I appreciate it. Generally, I write about technological aspects of 508 compliance; tagging, captioning, new developments, etc. the idea occurred to me that while technology is important, communication is imperative.
During my practice and research, I have communicated with hundreds of people in various industries; sometimes successfully and sometimes not. For the ones where communication difficulties arose, of course I was curious as to why?
In observing numerous interactions and conversations, it occurred to me that many people are simply uncomfortable discussing the topics of disability or technology due to fear.
Fear of technology can be very real for some and can be easily overcome by remembering: knowledge is power! Learn it, embrace it and practice using it when becoming 508 compliant! When working with technology, some points to remember: you are NOT going to break it, anything that is done, short of frying the motherboard, can be undone. Worst case scenario is that projects can be totally redone. My point here is that there is always some type of “fix” or work-around available.
Fear of disabilities is another matter entirely, in that every individual has their own pre-conceived notions, or opinions, whether it is realized or not, of what it means to have a disability. Unfortunately there is also a lot of mis-information regarding what it is to live and work with a disability; which, not-coincidentally also contributes to pervasive stigmas. Stay tuned for the 10 key points to remember when communicating with individuals with disabilities.
• Disabilities can present themselves varying ways, so when conversing with a disabled worker for instance, don’t assume. Ask! The same holds true when an employer is providing accommodation under the A.D.A. It has been my experience that most are very forthcoming and will appreciate the effort.
• Please read the *infographic provided (coming soon), “10 Key Points to Remember for Communicating with People with Disabilities”. This was authored by the I.R.S. and provides excellent reminders for individuals in any industry! Again, knowledge is power!
Article written by: Dee Moradi | 508 Remediation Specialist