Generative AI in Digital Accessibility (2024)

Zeeshan Ali

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Dive into our blog, where we explore the vast world of the internet, a place brimming with endless pages of information and opportunities. It’s like a bustling online bazaar, offering a shopping experience as varied as life. Here, AI-powered helpers, like friendly sea creatures, guide us to find what we need quickly and do our tasks better.

But there’s a part of this world that’s not as easy for everyone to enjoy. Some of our friends with disabilities are still waiting on the shore, unable to join in as quickly as others. That’s why we’re talking about “Generative AI in Digital Accessibility” – it’s like building bridges and boats for everyone, so all of us can set sail on the internet’s vast ocean together.

What Is the Reality of Inaccessible Internet Practices?

Generative AI in Digital Accessibility

Imagine a website that’s like a library of movie stories but missing a small yet crucial detail: descriptions for pictures, known as ‘alt text’. This might not seem like a big deal for someone who sees just fine. But for friends who have trouble seeing or rely on tools to read out loud what’s on the screen, it’s like missing story pieces. And think about videos that don’t have words on the screen for what’s being said—those with hearing challenges miss out on the whole experience.

Now, let’s zoom out a bit. The World Health Organization tells us there are about 1.3 billion people with disabilities worldwide. That’s one out of every six people you meet in places like the United States. So, when folks who make websites and tech stuff don’t think about everyone, many end up left out.

Here’s a surprising fact: a report from Forbes says only about 3 out of every 100 websites are made so that everyone can use them. Moreover, many of the tech wizards behind these sites don’t know how to fix this. Some don’t realize that making the digital world welcoming for all isn’t just lovely—it’s necessary. The situation isn’t great, and it’s time for companies to step up. They might have to answer to the rules and regulations if they don’t.

What the Law Says on Generative AI in Digital Accessibility

Imagine the internet as a global village where everyone deserves to roam freely, regardless of their abilities. Guidelines are in place to make this a reality, like a map for website creators to follow. These maps are known as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), and they’re like signposts that help ensure no one gets left behind in our digital world.

One of these signposts is the ‘orientation’ rule. It’s like saying, “Hey, you can turn your map any way you like—up, down, sideways—and still find your way.” This means that whether someone is holding their tablet tall like a skyscraper or wide like a bridge, they can still enjoy their journey online, even if they have a condition like cerebral palsy.

But that’s not all. In the United States, a big rulebook called the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) acts like a town hall, reminding governments and businesses to keep the digital doors open for everyone. It points out everyday bumps in the road, like colors that are hard to tell apart or websites that only work if you have a mouse. It’s all about building a welcoming web so everyone can share in the adventure of the internet.

So, when we talk about “Generative AI in Digital Accessibility,” we’re talking about using this intelligent tech to build a digital world that’s easy for everyone. It’s like making sure everyone can enjoy ramps and slides, not just the swings. This way, friends who might not see or hear as well as others can still have a blast online, just like everyone else.

How Gen AI Is Paving the Way for Accessibility

In the bustling world of tech, AI is like a garden that’s always blooming, giving us plenty to discuss. There’s a special kind of AI called generative AI that’s like a creative artist, able to whip up all sorts of things like stories, pictures, and even videos, just from what it’s learned before. This includes clever tools like ChatGPT, Bard, Grammarly, and Sythensia, like magic wands for fast making cool stuff online.

But here’s the thing: even with all these fancy AI gadgets around, not many are helping the people who build websites make sure everyone can use them, including folks with disabilities. That’s where FixMyCode comes in. It’s an intelligent tool from UserWay that’s stepping up to the plate. Allan Mason, the big boss at UserWay, told me they first made FixMyCode for their own team to make websites more accessible for everyone to use. Now, they’re letting everyone try it, hoping to make all future websites friendly for people from all walks of life.

UserWay says FixMyCode is the first of its kind, like a friendly robot that knows all about making websites easy for everyone to use. It’s trained to help developers build websites that don’t leave anyone out. Mason says it’s like giving a turbo boost to website creators who haven’t spent years learning the ropes so they can make sites that work well for all kinds of people.

And there’s more! OrCam Learn is a nifty gadget by OrCam that’s like a personal reading buddy for students who learn differently, like those with dyslexia or ADHD. It’s a helping hand that reads out loud any text at the push of a button and even chats back. This means people with different abilities can dive into the digital world and have a great time.

But this wave of generative AI is about more than just these tools. It’s about opening doors to a part of the digital playground that’s been overlooked, making sure everyone gets to join in the fun.

Future Ahead

Looking Ahead The idea of a future where AI makes everything online more accessible for everyone is pretty cool, but getting there isn’t going to be a walk in the park. Generative AI is super promising, opening doors in all sorts of jobs and places, but it’s not without its tricky parts, like keeping our personal info safe and sound.

Big companies like Google have already told their teams to stop writing code using AI tools like ChatGPT. Samsung, Amazon, and Apple have also warned their teams to be extra careful with these smart chatbots.

Yet, the folks behind innovative tools like FixMyCode and OrCam Learn have been thinking about keeping our data safe right from the start. They’re working hard to ensure the digital world is brighter, safer, and more open for everyone.


In conclusion, the rise of Generative AI in Digital Accessibility is like a beacon of hope, illuminating the path to a more inclusive digital landscape. This innovative branch of AI is not just about creating content; it’s about opening doors and breaking down barriers, ensuring everyone can share in the digital revolution regardless of their abilities. As we embrace these advancements, we’re not just building a more brilliant internet—we’re crafting a kinder, more welcoming world where every click, every page, and every experience is accessible to all. Here’s to a future where the power of generative AI continues to enrich lives, making the digital realm a place of endless possibilities for everyone.


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