Net neutrality is a topic many of us have overlooked. This needs to end now. We’ll explain what this hot button issue is all about and what you can do to prevent the negative impact some big companies are attempting to have on the internet.
Net Neutrality: the idea, principle, or requirement that Internet service providers should or must treat all Internet data as the same regardless of its kind, source, or destination – Merriam Webster
Basically, net neutrality ensures that all the content on the internet is available to you on an equal basis. This means that some pieces content won’t be prioritized over others just because bigger companies are paying more. This regulation is what has allowed the Internet to function as it currently does—providing us all with equal opportunity to publish and promote what we want as well as to find it.
Now, what’s happening with net neutrality?
With a new chief at the FCC as well as the ongoing lobbying by big companies like Verizon and Comcast, this regulation is threatened. They want companies to have the ability to pay for higher priorities. They want the chance to make money. And it’s getting close to actually happening.
How does this impact your nonprofit?
Imagine a world where other websites could pay internet service providers so that their site works faster than yours. As TechCrunch put it, removing net neutrality regulations means, “any organization without deep enough pockets to pay an ISP’s ransom will load much slower than those with ties to ISPs” (full article). It would create yet another space where it’s too expensive for the little man to keep up and money gets you much further ahead.
What can you do?
First, send your note to the FCC, saying you’d like to preserve net neutrality and Title 2. Then spread this message. Make sure your nonprofit knows the impact removing this regulation could have on all of you, your communities and the world at large.
Here are some additional resources to help you understand and share the gravity of this situation:
You already understand the value of investing in a quality website. Unfortunately, many nonprofits don’t understand the value in ensuring their website is accessible. For many nonprofits, (whether they know it or not) it is already mandatory and for the rest, it soon will be.
According to FMJ Law, “if your organization receives federal financial assistance such as grants or loans, it is also subject to section 504.” Just a reminder, Section 504 entails no one can be discriminated against based on a disability. This also means any major activities an organization has must be adapted so that all people can participate. Learn more with this breakdown of the law.
When it comes to your website, this means it needs to be navigable for people with disabilities.
To understand more on what this means for you, we held an event, “The Human, Design, and Legal Implications of Web Accessibility,” last March and have since, gathered the presentations. Here’s what we have.
ArcStone’s throwing an event later this month and would like you to come!
The event, “The human, design and legal implications of web accessibility” covers some of the common questions about web accessibility.
What does web accessibility really mean?
What’s it like to use a screen reader to browse the web?
How should a nonprofit or business approach web accessibility?
What are the risks for my organization if our site is not accessible?
We have big plans for this discussion! First we’ll aim for a better understanding of web accessibility in general. We’ll hope to gain new perspectives on the challenges and frustrations for those who can’t access sites they want to visit. And we’ll learn about concrete steps you can take to insure that your site will work for everyone.
While access to websites for everyone has always been critical, we’ve noticed that more than ever before, nonprofits and businesses have questions about what accessibility means and are now more committed to having a web presence that can be accessed and enjoyed by all.
“The Human, Design and Legal Implications of Web Accessibility,” event will feature three unique perspectives. This includes full-time assistive technology instructor from Vision Loss Resources, accessibility experts from Accessible360 and two employment attorneys specializing in this area from Fafinski, Mark & Johnson. These two lawyers have experience handling web accessibility litigation and how it pertains to employment law and nonprofits.
We hope you can join us for an afternoon of mutual learning, food and refreshments.