For the past 28 years the United Nations has declared December 3 as annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons. Up until recently when it was a question of accessibility and accommodations the business owner was focused more on the bricks and mortars of their facilities and less on website and virtual needs of employees and customers. Now, things have changed since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. In the past, when employees and customers were all coming unto your premises the concerns were things like: close proximity to accessible parking, curb-cut for main entrance, height of counters, width of hallways, and bathroom access. Because of the pandemic more people are now working from home and this has opened up opportunities for people with disabilities to become employed or be self-employed requiring that your websites be attuned to access issues such as voice activation, image description, color contrast and font-type to name a few. Although 2020 has been a tough time for everybody worldwide, some good things are coming out it for all. Innovations that have been made out of necessity some will come to be known as standard customer service, for example curb-side service. Before one had to ask for an accommodation and explain that the individual making the request had a disability, this will no longer be the case. There’s an opportunity for business owners to expand their base of customers to include more people with disabilities, and to expand their pool of prospective employees with disabilities—and independent contractors. Because of the variety and unique challenges to persons with disabilities they often bring to the table an unusual amount of ﬂexibility, resourcefulness, and determination.
Zully JF Alvarado
Founder & CEO, Causes for Change
773-447-8500 | [email protected]