The Capitol Crawl to Disability Rights

By Joe Devon
Co-Founder, Diamond
Featured in the M&E Journal 

Digital Accessibility Trends in Media and Entertainment

How can you have diversity and inclusion yet still ignore people with disabilities? This article reveals the history of digital accessibility and gives an overview of current lawsuits that plague many organizations in the M&E Industry and beyond. It also provides a snapshot of opportunities that are lost when digital accessibility is not a part of your product. Becoming accessible is not just a check mark. It has to be a cultural shift. Is your organization ready?

Imagine the scene on March 12, 1990, when 60 paraplegics got out of their wheelchairs and crawled up the steps of the Capitol Building to protest the delay in signing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Capitol Crawl, as it’s become known, ushered in the signing of the ADA by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990. The 1990s just barely predated most of the revolution caused by the internet; it came long before smartphones changed the world. Hence, the ADA did not have sufficient provisions to ensure that the law applied to web sites, mobile apps and other digital products.  However, as these battles went to court, judges have been ruling that the ADA does apply to digital products. On Oct. 8, 2010, President Obama signed the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) into law.

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The Capitol Crawl to Disability Rights by Joe Devon

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Joe Devon
Joe Devon, Co-Founder of Diamond and Global Accessibility Awareness Day
Joe Devon has more than 25 years’ experience in development of high-profile projects spanning digital media to performance management. He is a serial entrepreneur who has helped launch several successful companies, and spearheaded Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), celebrated the third Thursday every May.  joe.devon@Diamond.LA @joedevon