05 Mar 2024
by VAAMG Consulting

Empowering Inclusion: Creating Accessible Technology for People with Disabilities

In our rapidly evolving digital landscape, technology has the power to transform lives, break down barriers, and foster inclusion but this is not a simple straight forward case for everyone and specially for people with disabilities. Accessing and using technology can pose significant challenges for them such as from navigating websites or using mobile apps to interact with smart devices and many other conventional technologies are not designed with accessibility in mind thus leading to barriers that limit participation and independence. 

The Importance of Accessibility in technology and specially in the Public sectors is highly emphasized upon. The accessibility regulations came into force for public sector bodies on 23 September 2018 which means to designing products and services that can be used by people with diverse abilities and disabilities without the need for adaptation or having specialized equipment. The accessibility doesn’t just mean to put things online but creating and designing it in a way that most people can use the services such as a person with poor vision might use a screen reader or braille display.  Accessible technology encompasses various facets such as physical, sensory, cognitive, and neurodiversity considerations.  

Challenges Faced by People with Disabilities  

For people with disabilities, navigating inaccessible technology can be challenging, frustrating and disempowering. Screen readers may struggle to interpret poorly coded websites, touch interfaces may be difficult to use for individuals with motor impairments, and complex navigation structures may pose cognitive challenges. These barriers not only limit access to digital content and services but also effects social and economic exclusion for people worldwide. 

Creating Accessible Technology:  

Designing technology with accessibility in mind demands a thoughtful and inclusive approach. Here are key considerations for creating accessible technology: 

  1. User-Centered Design: Tech companies prioritizing the needs and user experiences of people with disabilities throughout the design and development process gather feedback and ensure that the technology meets their needs effectively. 

  1. Standards Compliance: Adhere to accessibility standards and guidelines, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to ensure that digital products and services are perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust for all users. 

  1. Flexible Interfaces: Provide multiple ways for users with disability to interact with technology, such as keyboard shortcuts, voice commands, and gestures.  

  1. Clear and Consistent Design: Use clear and intuitive interface design principles, including logical navigation structures, consistent labelling, and sufficient colors contrast to enhance usability for all users including those with cognitive and sensory impairments. 

  1. Alternative Formats: Offering alternative content formats such as text transcripts for audio and video content, and accessible PDFs for documents, ensuring information accessibility for users reliant on assistive technologies. 

  1. Continuous Improvement: Regularly evaluate and update technology to address accessibility issues and incorporate feedback from users with disabilities. Embrace a culture of continuous improvement and innovation to ensure that accessibility remains a priority throughout the product lifecycle. 

Impact and Benefits of Accessible Technology  

Creating accessible technology not only enhances the lives of people with disabilities but also benefits society as a whole. Accessible websites, applications, and devices enable individuals with disabilities to participate more fully in education, employment, social interactions, and civic engagement.  

By breaking down barriers and promoting inclusivity, accessible technology contributes to a more equitable and just society where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. 

Empowering Inclusion through Collaboration and by working together we can drive positive change and raise awareness towards building a more accessible and inclusive digital future for all.  

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VAAMG Consulting

VAAMG Consulting