Cyber Security

Accessibility and Cyber Security
The inclusion of accessible information technology is the mission of Access Ready, but no one can say
that cybersecurity is not the concern of all of us who exist in our online and device connected internet of
everything in the world. Almost every day the cybersecurity features that are put in place to build our
trust are breached again and again. As we concern ourselves with the accessibility of websites, software,
and hardware we often find access needs coming up against those same security features designed to
protect us. Captcha images and the lousy audio files that try to make them accessible is perhaps the
most ubiquitous example of the issue. Those of us concerned with accessibility do not or should not, in
any case, oppose cybersecurity measures. We want to be protected as well. It does appear though that
security measures are developed without accessibility being taken into consideration. This should be of
no surprise since the majority of new technologies are developed today without those same
considerations. We are not suggesting that security is not more or less as important as accessibility, but
that it should be considered equally in the development and implementation process of new
technologies. Perhaps a larger concern is that the buyers, users, and managers of information
technologies often site security as a reason for not providing accessibility. This response is often given
without investigation and as a way to shut down the subject and move on. It is the age-old cry of the
oppressor, internal security which is another way of saying, you cant make us. Knowing that this
debate will come up as we work to advance the Access Ready Policy, we have looked for the best and
brightest to advise us. A cybersecurity qualified leader with a clear understanding of and development
experience in technological accessibility. Admittedly finding a person with credentials in both
cybersecurity and accessible information technology is a big ask. Big because it deals with two major
areas of concern in the development and implementation process and few people have a background in
both. To see both issues and find understanding and compromise it takes problem-solving skills from the
point of view of both disciplines and the ability to break down the problem to its basic elements. It also
takes the ability to understand a security excuse for not providing accessibility when such a
smokescreen is used. Access Ready Inc is pleased to welcome Matthew Michaelis to its Board of
Directors as Chair of Cyber Security. Matthew comes to us from a family of true technology and scientific
geniuses with a long history of contributions to accessibility and technological advancement. As Access
Ready begins to advance its global Access Ready Policy goals we want to be sensitive to cybersecurity
issues, but also need to help find a path through those issues to access solutions. It is our intention not
just to be a critic, but to equally offer problem-solving assistance and education. The advocate who
pounds the table demanding “Fix It” but has no idea of the real issue or how to resolve it has already
lost. Access Ready is not that kind of education and advocacy organization. Assuring accessible
information technology requires not just an understanding of the law that supports it, but what the
technical requirements, limitations and possibilities are as well.