Linda Powers (firstname.lastname@example.org) emailed me recently to point out that over 96% of government websites exclude disabled men and women from showing on web pages. Here is what Website Planet says:
Disabled people are almost non-existent on government and stock-photos websites
. . . and when they are represented, they are not represented as whole individuals, but are only showed for their disability.
We crawled the internet and looked at more than 500 government websites from around the globe and what we found was shocking! While around 50% do show physically disabled people in images, only less than 4% have them on non-health and wellness related pages. Governments aren’t the only ones at fault here. Stock photo websites, like Shutterstock, do not tag disabled people as actual people, but only for their disability. . .
Disability is far from the taboo it was in previous centuries. Today, this valued section of society is afforded the same rights and concern as those who are physically able. However, when it comes to representation, the disabled community is still severely overlooked, and more often than not, all that is focused on is their disability. While they are “valued,” by focusing only on their disability, we hinder their full integration into society. Nowhere is this more prevalent than online; even on government websites – organizations responsible for ensuring equality – there is a significant lack of disabled people.
To explore this phenomenon, we researched over 500 government websites from all corners of the map. Our investigation unveiled that a majority of the websites tested had no photos of the disabled at all within its online pages. In many countries, this means that disabled citizens remain completely unacknowledged by their governing state. These people, who contribute to society and should enjoy the same human rights, deserve to be better represented. In a world that strives for equality, the disabled still suffer from a systemic prejudice that remains overlooked by most – which brings us on to a more worrying figure:
In a world that strives for equality, the disabled still suffer from a systemic prejudice that remains overlooked by most
Less than 4% Showed Disabled People on Non-Medical Pages
Furthering our investigation, we also broke down where on the website disabled people appeared. Unfortunately, for the majority of the examples, they existed on health and medical pages, which once again pigeonholes the disabled and shuns them from complete social acceptance. The discovery that less than 4% of the pictures existed on non-medical pages was shocking in some ways, but you just have to browse a few sites to be faced with the reality of the situation.
In other words, as far as government websites are concerned, disabled people exist only to further push medical conditions and concerns.
To learn more about the why of this exclusion go to the website. . . And if you are in a position to make a change, please do so now!