Maria is in her mid 30’s and is passionate in advocating for the rights of people with disabilities in Mexico. She has been blind since she was very young and faces a slew of accessibility challenges when using technology in her work and personal life. She must use a screen reader to navigate her laptop and mobile devices, using a free and open-source version for Windows called, NVDA, and the built-in reader for iPhone, called, VoiceOver.
Maria and her colleagues face unique privacy and security concerns both as activists and as persons who are blind because their inability to autonomously handle their most sensitive information makes it impossible to handle such information securely. They are also more susceptible to other forms of digital attacks, as software is not consistently accessible and navigable –- making it hard to pinpoint or identify abnormal activity sometimes on their devices (e.g. pop-ups, advertisements vs malware and viruses).
Advance accessibility for all persons with disabilities through public advocacy and policy changes in both the public and private sectors and through the promotion of accessibility standards and testing products using the free and open-source screen reader, NVDA and VoiceOver.
Develop a strategy and build the capacity of users with disabilities to prevent misuse of their data and personal rights.
From digital security tools to normal tasks like checking bank statements, online shopping, or captchas; tools that are inaccessible are not usable. This requires Maria to rely on and share private information with family and colleagues.
Loss of information, fraudulent sites, malware, and webcam activation can happen without accessible alerts informing the user.
When people with disabilities cannot complete tasks online, they must go to a location in-person, which can lead to physical threats due to infrastructure problems.
Very comfortable with technology and developing ways to work around accessibility problems to accomplish tasks.
Committed to supporting the rights of persons with disabilities and increasing awareness of these accessibility issues in technology.
Interested in fostering a community of people with disabilities with whom to share experiences and ideas about improvements that can be made to improve technologies and make them accessible.
How do I determine which websites and tools are accessible and secure?
If a security tool is not accessible, what are my best alternatives?
Who can I contact about making this tool more accessible or if it is not working properly with NVDA or VoiceOver?