To mark this year’s Global Accessibility Awareness Day, techUK has launched a new working group that will bring together members to champion inclusivity in design.
Tech is one of the central drivers and enablers of productivity, but when it is not accessible it can limit opportunities for people. During this current public health crisis, we have seen the importance of access to digital technology. As we adapt to a new normal and begin our recovery, it is vital that everyone can benefit from the technologies of today and tomorrow.
Currently one in five individuals of working age are disabled or have a long-term health condition, and only half of those with disabilities are employed. Addressing the digital skills gap among people with disabilities and access to innovative technology is a crucial way in which tech can create more inclusive workplaces.
The group's Chair, Patrick Stephenson, Director of Innovation & Healthcare at Fujitsu will work with the group alongside his role as HMG Technology Disability Champion to support and amplify the significant work being done in this space.
Fujitsu joins Microsoft, Accenture, Octopus Energy, Micro Focus, DXC Technology, Sopra Steria, FinancialForce, Mindwave Ventures, eSynergy Solutions, and Access Partnership on the group.
The group will work to highlight the business, economic and social benefits of disability inclusion through projects and best practice to help attract and grow disabled talent. It hopes to drive a fundamental culture change for businesses to produce products and services that are inclusive-by-design and looks to forwarding the conversation around accessibility as something that will support cutting-edge technology of tomorrow.
Julian David, CEO, techUK commented:
"Digital technology can only truly enable people, society, and the economy to thrive if we ensure that it is accessible to everyone. Accessibility, inclusivity and productivity are interdependent. The tech industry must lead the way by encouraging diversity, improving accessibility and fostering innovation while leaving no one behind. This group will drive forward this ambition and I look forward to the outcomes of its work."
Chair of the techUK Accessible Tech Group and HMG Technology Disability Champion, Patrick Stephenson, Fujitsu said:
"I am delighted that techUK and its members both large and small have embraced the new Accessible Tech Board. I am sure the boards focus on recruitment, standards and culture will move the dial for people with physical and hidden disabilities in the UK and raise awareness across the tech sector."
Interested in #GAAD?
Read Aaron Prior, Microsoft, on why inclusion is crucial for ‘the New Normal’.
Read Kim Erbo Christensen, Dania Software, on why digital inclusion needs to be a top priority on Global Accessibility Awareness Day.