Building a Better World For People of All Abilities

Six hands hold each other's wrists, forming a circle.

By Sheila Robison, Economic Security Team Member at Elder Law of Michigan

There was a day, not long ago, when people with disabilities were not able to function in the world. Some of you might be saying, well, yes, of course. It was the norm for citizens with disabilities to sit back and be less involved in life around them, whether it be the business world, common activities, or keeping up with family and friendships. That’s just the way it was. It was acceptable. 

Our world today holds more than one billion people with disabilities and impairments. Today people all over the world are shouting out and honoring those who may carry a disability with them. The elderly, as well as disabled folks, are now aware of a digital online world of opportunity, and Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) has helped! GAAD has made its mark and is celebrated annually on the third Thursday of May, this year, May 20, 2021.

Now is the time to educate people about digital accessibility and how older adults and people with disabilities can experience web-based services as well as everyone else! People with disabilities can use digital access now with speed and success. People all over the world are no longer underserved by today’s digital products because GAAD removes barriers and makes technology work for us. People of all abilities, from autism to cerebral palsy, to a 90-year-old who wants to share pictures with her grandchildren on Facebook, have a voice in today’s technology. After all, that’s what it’s all about; to better ourselves each and every day, to help one another be the best we can be, to inspire each other, and promote a feeling of well-being. This is the kind of world we all should be striving for. This is the kind of world GAAD is helping to create!

Technology has made its way into all our lives, but now the internet is helping the elderly and people with disabilities be active instead of becoming a barrier for them. Having digital access across the world has become a much-needed focal point. GAAD has a Facebook page, created in December 2011, full of information, events, and activities. GAAD is also on Twitter. Check it out when you have time! There are webinars and other online resources available internationally. It’s all there to help people be the very best they can be!

Sheila Robison is an Economic Security Team Member for MiCAFE and a counselor with the Medicare Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) at Elder Law of Michigan. Sheila has been a member of the Elder Law of Michigan team since June 2010. As an Economic Security Team Member, Sheila assists Michigan seniors with benefit applications and serves as an advocate for the health and safety of seniors.

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