While most people have no difficulty using mobile devices out of the box, millions of Americans with disabilities currently find it difficult to carry out basic tasks with these devices.
Mobile apps are rarely aimed at those with hearing or visual impairment. While larger companies such as Google and Microsoft incorporate accessibility features into their products, others do not.
Given that more than 12 percent of the U.S. population (more than 37 million Americans) reported disabilities in 2012, why does this market not attract more interest from developers? According to experts, there are several reasons.
Ugly truth or cold, hard fact
“I think there are two reasons: lack of awareness and fear of lawsuits,” said Dana Marlowe, principal partner and co-founder of Accessibility Partners LLC, a Silver Spring, Maryland-based accessibility and IT consulting firm that promotes inclusion of people with disabilities in all facets of society. “Unfortunately, there’s a strong worry that people with disabilities will sue if they can’t get immediate, comparable access.”