To rethink what accessibility means
Online content at the RTC on Community Living is supporting a social movement
John Smith wants to make information more accessible.
Since passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, communities have become more accessible to people with physical disabilities. Curb cuts, ramps and automatic doors are among the most visible accommodations. The Internet offers access to a world of rich information and the opportunity to build community. Much of this content, however, is not accessible to people with intellectual disabilities.
Learn more about accessible information and resources that support people with intellectual disabilities
Smith, an evaluator and project coordinator at the Research and Training Center on Community Living at the Institute on Community Integration, translates research findings into accessible, engaging online content that is directly useful to people involved in Self-Advocacy, a civil and human rights movement led by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Thousands of people are involved in the Self-Advocacy movement and more than 400 organized groups are connected through the Self-Advocacy Online website. Supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to speak for themselves and live valued, inclusive lives in their communities has been central to the Research and Training Center since its founding over 30 years ago.
“Information that is not accessible is useless.”
Through the Self-Advocacy Online website, Smith ensures the most important information for self-advocates and those who provide supports is available and accessible. Content is delivered through video stories, interactive maps, multi-modal lessons, and narrated information graphics. Navigation is simple and intuitive. The Self-Advocacy Movement continues to grow. New technologies allow live-streaming of self-advocacy presentations to people across the globe, amplifying the voices of those who are gradually closing the digital divide.