King County celebrates the many contributions that people with disabilities make to our community and workforce every year. This year is no exception. In July, we marked the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act into law.
On October 13, the King County Council officially proclaimed October as Disability Awareness Month. Every year, a committee develops blog articles and arranges lunch ‘n’ learn activities, panel discussions, and other events.
This year, the Disability Awareness Month Committee wanted to start a conversation about how people with disabilities are being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Committee created “Navigating the coronavirus pandemic with disability” to introduce issues, share stories, provide resources for individuals and families, and give everyone helpful tips to support people of all ages and abilities in our workplaces and communities. Several King County employees and service providers shared their perspectives and how they are problem-solving in a difficult time.
Esri’s ArcGIS StoryMaps offered an excellent platform to share these vibrant stories and rich resources. This multimedia presentation tool, which King County staff use as part of the web GIS and mapping environment ArcGIS Online, supports video, images, and both static and interactive maps. The StoryMaps builder has options for creating custom themes that can enhance accessibility for people with visual limitations and sensitivities. Creators can add generous alternate text descriptions of graphics, photographs, and videos to help people with limited or no vision experience and understand visual content.
Esri promotes accessibility through platform improvements, tutorials, and blog articles. This helps creators meet national requirements for accessible online content. StoryMaps creators will want to learn about accessibility best practices for all content, including text, photographs, videos, and graphics.
Technology offers many benefits for people with disabilities to get information and services, engage, and participate. Making our online content accessible for people of all ages and abilities has never been more urgent as we all deal with a global pandemic.
To learn more about the pandemic experience for people with disabilities and join in the conversation, view “Navigating the coronavirus pandemic with disability” at https://arcg.is/0CG0Cm.