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What are the SDGs and how they relate with digital accessibility

Cover of blog post SDGs and digital accessibility. Purple background. On the center, a colorful circle with the text "Sustainable Development Goals". Around it, the symbols of money, accessibility and the world.

If you are interested in matters of sustainability, and new ways of social and economic development that are good for the planet, you’ve probably already come across the term SDG, right? But after all, what does it mean, and why does it exist?

These 3 little letters represent the Sustainable Development Goals, created by the UN in 2015, as part of a global agenda that must be met by 2030. They serve as a kind of framework, regarding the main issues that we, as a society, must solve to ensure, surely enough, Earth’s sustainable development. The SDGs are made up of 17 goals, with 169 targets divided among them.

There were 193 United Nations Member States that committed to implementing actions at a global, regional and national level, for us to reach the 17 goals. Those, mostly engage the environmental, economic and social aspects, and the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development is the one responsible for internationally keeping tabs on the 2030 Agenda.

17 colored squares naming and representing each of the goals. On the bottom right, the title “Sustainable Development Goals”.

SDG 10 and its correlation with accessibility

Obviously, all goals are extremely important, but today we want to shine a light on SDG number 10: reduced inequalities. This goal has as one of its targets the empowerment and promotion of the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status. On top of that, its success indicator is based on the proportion of people living below 50% of average income, by age, sex and persons with disabilities. 

When thinking of how to promote this socio economic inclusion, mainly when talking about people with disabilities, the first word that comes to mind, of course, is accessibility. Be it architectural, behavioral, communicational, or digital, all its forms play an important role in fighting inequality.

Digital Accessibility as an ally in building a world free of inequalities

Digital accessibility has been in our lives for a while now, being very useful even for people without any disabilities. A great example is the use of subtitles in audiovisual content. They assist people with hearing impairments that are able to read, and also help those who prefer to keep up with their Instagram stories on silent mode.

When investing in digital accessibility, individuals, companies and governments can support the 2030 Agenda, proposing initiatives that encourage inclusion and social well being. A bonus is that this action is totally in sync with the ESG framework, which promotes good guidelines in relation to Environmental, Social and Governance matters.

With people with disabilities more specifically in mind, it is truly important for digital accessibility to be a reality in all spaces. The good news is that it isn’t hard or expensive to begin investing in it, and there already are some great solutions for this out there. One of them is the Hand Talk App, a Sign Language pocket translator. With the use of Artificial Intelligence, the app performs automatic translations from text and voice from English to ASL (American Sign Language). This way, Hand Talk combines the ESG framework, the advocacy for SDGs and Artificial Intelligence to break communication barriers between deaf and hearing people through technology.

Now tell me, did you like understanding a bit more about SDGs and how they relate to accessibility? Do you think that by 2030 we will have reached all of them? What do you think you can do to contribute? We all have the mission and the power to change the world. Begin right away!

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