Elliza Guta

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The Internet’s role in modern society is constantly expanding. While only a few thousand websites were in existence in the early 1990s, there are almost two billion active websites today. Every major business, news source, health care provider, and government entity has an online presence and the nation’s reliance on the Internet is growing. The role of the Internet in Americans’ daily lives is not a new phenomenon, but in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of the Internet and online technology has dramatically increased. Whether it’s grocery shopping, zoom-school, or checking local infection rates, the pandemic has only further cemented the role of websites and online media platforms in our lives.

Despite the increasing importance of the Internet, many websites remain inaccessible to over sixty million disabled individuals living in America today. While the advent of new assistive technologies makes it possible for disabled individuals to access the Internet and use computers in ways that were previously impossible, the “digital divide” persists as businesses continually fail to create and modify websites to work with assistive technologies. The large-scale transition from brick-and-mortar services to “click-and-mortar” services illustrates that the problem of website accessibility is not disappearing anytime soon. In response to this growing problem, the disabled community has filed countless lawsuits against both government and private entities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).