The Web Offers Unprecedented Opportunities
The internet is one of the best things that ever happened to people with disabilities. You may not have thought about it that way, but all you have to do is think back to the days before the internet to see why this is so. For example, before the internet, how did blind people read newspapers? They mostly didn't. Audiotapes or Braille printouts were expensive - a Braille version of the Sunday New York Times would be too bulky to be practical. At best, they could ask a family member or friend to read the newspaper to them. This method works, but it makes blind people dependent upon others.
Most newspapers now publish their content online in a format that has the potential to be read by "screen readers" used by the blind. These software programs read electronic text out loud so that blind people can use computers and access any text content through the computer. Suddenly, blind people don't have to rely on other people to read the newspaper to them. They don't have to wait for expensive audio tapes or expensive, bulky Braille printouts. They simply open a web browser and listen as their screen reader reads the newspaper to them, and they do it when they want to and as soon as the content is published.