“When I’m 64” and Digital Accessibility

Paul McCartney and the Beatles could not have said it better when they wrote this song in 1967. As we all get older we wonder who will take care of me when I’m 64. This has become all too real to me and most of my generation. Not to go too “Beatleish” on you but “the love you get is equal to the love you give” and that is not only for our interpersonal relationships but also with those companies to which we have an allegiance or affinity…I love GM, Island Company, Ralph Lauren, Apple, Marriott, Delta, the New York Times and K2 skis. The brands that matter to me now. If these companies have really spread their love then I will most likely be loyal to them even beyond 64.

And, here are the facts, there has never been an aging population that is entering the fourth season of life with the level of technical competency and expectation of access to the Internet than at this time in history. There is a global initiative to create company websites, mobile sites and apps that are accessible to the disabled community. Every company that really cares about the disabled community should embrace this movement. At the same time, a company’s commitment to make their websites accessible to the disabled should also realize that by doing so they are also creating a better scenario for their aging customer base. The disabled community calls the rest of us TAB’s (Temporary Able Bodied!) And, what they mean is that in the course of our lives almost all of us will have some sort of disability…..that could be impaired vision, loss of hearing or physical or cognitive conditions that will mitigate our ability to access the Internet or live in the physical world. This does not have to be the scenario.

So, to all of you companies out there that care about the 1 in 5 Americans who have a disability and want to evolve with your aging customer base then I highly encourage you to embrace creating an accessible website along with all of your digital properties. The Department of Justice has ruled that the Americans with Disabilities Act now applies not only to the physical world but also to the digital world.

Why would you not want to acquire and improve access to your website for the 57 million disabled people in the U.S. or retain the millions of your customers who are moving into their latter years? There is absolutely no downside and from a financial perspective is not a huge investment to become truly “accessible”.

Most of all, it is simply the right thing to do.

So, please consider becoming “accessible” as this is not only good for your business but is a social issue that can be fixed….one company at a time.

Originally posted by Mark Lacek on LinkedIn, June 16, 2017 – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/when-im-64-mark-lacek

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Sam Graves

I am 23 years old and am a graduate of Augsburg College. I currently am the social media intern for Accessible360. I previously contributed to the Special Olympics Minnesota social media platforms and website. Before graduation from Augsburg College, I worked at The Arc Greater Twin Cities as a social media intern in 2015. In my spare time, I have been a baseball and Twins fan for many years.

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