The Cost of Accessibility

By Brandon Smith

Access isn’t cheap.

Accessible technology allows the disabled contact to a whole new world of learning, employment and entertainment that otherwise wouldn’t be possible; however, accessibility comes with a price tag.

Access to a computer using a screen reader can cost up to $1000. Scanners that give a visually impaired person the ability to read hardcopy materials can start at $600.

The reason for this is a logical one. Blind individuals only make up a very small part of the overall population and of that, an even smaller percentage of this population are consumers of this technology.

Organizations such as Louisiana Association for the Blind give the visually impaired an opportunity to experience this incredible technology.

LAB employees and clients enrolled in our Orientation and Adjustment to Blindness (OAB) program get a chance to experience a world the sighted already have full access to. Imagine giving a visually impaired person an opportunity to take advantage of the common phrase “google it” for the first time? Or, handing a blind person a hardcopy version of a utility bill, for example, and that individual having the ability to read it independently? Needing a sighted person to read personal documents, such as bills can be uncomfortable for sure.

Your gift to LAB will indeed give access to independence for all of our current, and future, employees and clients.