The Access Code aims to address matters concerning technological and architectural accessibility standards. The Access Code name is derived from formal legislation. The Code is a short form for “The Human Rights Code,” and “Access” to represent “Accessibility” and accessing information. But this page is not about laws, acts, and legislation; it is about the accessibility of everything in our lives.
We may not think about the technology we use today as Assistive Technology or accessibility features. Do you remember computers that were like this:
Try to fit that in your backpack! It’s impossible in every way, in fact, I don’t think it would fit in the living room of my condo!
Then you look at other things like the World Wide Web. Do you remember when it did not even exist? It was back in 1989 that the World Wide Web was born. We use this open, free and accessible medium every day, and it will really shock you how much you really do use this medium for information! Could you imagine going through a day without using technology, or the World Wide Web? I am sure some of us can picture it, and even do it. But me being from the East Coast where most towns are rural and are not support by accessible transit (a problem that must be addressed), I had to educate myself on how to use MiWay and the TTC. Admittedly, I use Google Maps almost every day. Before Google Maps and the internet, how did people learn the bus routes?! Going to the bus station and reading paper? No way, that just sounds inefficient.
I remember when desktop computers were first introduced into the public school system, and how I would nervously click the “enter” button, fearing it would corrupt the system! I am sure that sounds foolish to some Millenials who may not remember this, or the Generation Z’s who have never seen the Desktop before may think I am ancient. Do Generation Z’s even know what the first generation of desktop looked like? Do they know the predecessor of the micro chip USB – the floppy disk?
I am sure the Gen Z’s that may be reading this are cringing behind Herrmann’s PSYCHO violin screech right now.
Even though our technological advancements has been, and continues to be impressive, accessibility in our technological world remains behind. The accessibility for persons with disabilities is lacking in the physical and technological world we live in today. The cool hip features we use on our cellphones (like Siri, speech reader) or that we use on the Subway (the transit announcement system and the visual stop indicator), are not ‘features’ for persons with disabilities, they are requirements. It is unfortunate when you think about the technology platforms we use today and we realize that not all accessibility requirements for persons with disabilities are provided within technological programming.
The Access Code is inspired by the developments in accessibility, technology, and communication, and the need for more. This site is constructed with the purpose to promote awareness on developments in accessibility, while motivating and encouraging the discussion to keep accessibility building. The Access Code aspires to develop into an informative and reliable hub for everything accessibility to build community engagement and interaction, with the hope to inspire the innovators out there to consider the accessibility of the technology they are building and create a world that is more inclusive and accessible for everyone.