Washington, DC, March 26, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust the world into almost total online dependency for information, goods, and services. During this time of social distancing and self-quarantine, vulnerable populations (including those with disabilities) will need additional access to services to get through this pandemic. For some people, the internet right now is their only access to information.

“Digital accessibility is needed now more than ever for persons with disabilities because we are all heavily reliant on digital resources to receive critical information regarding the coronavirus,” said Walter Arnold, Chief Operating Officer at User1st. “All emergency services and nearly every industry in America has a COVID-19 resource page. In efforts to ensure accessibility of information to the most vulnerable populations, User1st is offering to donate our digital accessibility software and services for state emergency services and hospitals’ COVID-19 pages.”

The vast majority of websites are not accessible to persons who use a screen reader or keypad to navigate online information. Digital accessibility is simply the ability of a website, mobile application or electronic document to be easily navigated and understood by all users with disabilities, including those who have visual, auditory, motor or cognitive disabilities. 

Persons with disabilities cross all demographic groups and ages.  With 1 in 5 people in the U.S. having a disability, it is likely that everyone knows someone with a disability.  When talking about persons with disabilities, we tend to forget about the blind or visually impaired, someone with a degenerative eye disease, a veteran with varied mobility or a cognitive disorder, or senior citizens.  In addition, many persons with disabilities have additional health complications which can impact their immune systems which keeps them even more isolated and reliant on delivery and online services.  Each of these people are trying to gain the same access to coronavirus information as everyone else.

If User1st can be of any assistance to an emergency service provider in your state, contact User1st at (888) 995-9224, accessibility@user1st.com or they can contact one of our accessibility specialists today. 

Founded with the purpose of making the power of the internet accessible for persons with varied and changing abilities, User1st provides the most advanced web accessibility solutions on the market for testing, remediation, monitoring, and compliance. User1st’s solutions are deployed in a variety of industries worldwide, including financial services, retail, government, education, and healthcare. For more information, visit http://www.user1st.com/ and follow User1st on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter @User1st.

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Raegan Bartlo
User1st
571-276-2287
raegan.bartlo@user1st.com