This week sees the 40th Annual Conference of the European Association for Computer Graphics, Eurographics 2019, taking place in Genova Italy. Eurographics is an annual conference organised in order that the computer graphics industry can showcase and discuss the latest techniques and educational work taking place, and to explore new trends emerging within the community.
This year, our Managing Director, Lawrence Howard and Digital Inclusion Manager, Neil Judd, gave a speech at the conference titled ” Digital Accessibility; Commercial need or legal requirement?” Our world is increasingly digital. We shop, work, navigate and play all to some extent through digital mediums. The question we are asking is this; is digital accessibility a legal requirement or a commercial need, and how do we realise this accessibility?
The answer to the first part of this question, we believe, is both. Though the digital world is designed to make life easier for most people but for those with a disability it often makes life more stressful, whether that is for the visually impaired trying to use a computer or for someone with a learning difficulty struggling with literacy. The difficulty of using digital media, whether that is your phone, computer, or simply a touch screen till in the shop, isolates a large portion of the population from the digital sector. The legal issues it represents are clear. After the Disability Discrimination Act of 2010 the rights of disabled people to access all the same goods and services as able bodied people has never been clearer or more at the front of the public conscience. This includes access to digital services. Whilst we can make sure that travel and buildings are accessible, making the digital realm accessible to everyone presents more of a challenge. Other than being a legal requirement, digital accessibility would be a commercial benefit for the entire sector. With the ‘purple pound’ worth c. £249 billion per annum, this number alone shows how much of an impact disabled consumers can have on the market, provided that they have access to it.
So the next question that we sought to address is how do we ensure online accessibility. Well, our solution, as discussed at Eurographics, is Accessabar. Accessabar is our easy to use website solution for all your digital accessibility needs. It is a discrete but powerful application that contains multiple different features from the most popular forms of accessibility software, including text to speech, speech recognition, magnification and screen tinting (plus many more), meaning that no matter what your accessibility needs you will find a solution with Accessabar.
For more information on Accessabar, please click this link: www.hands-free.co.uk/accessabar/