What if technology adapted to people? The new frontier of digital experiences is technology designed specifically for individual human behavior. And when the design is inclusive, everyone wins.
In honor of Global Accessibility Day, we’re diving into the ways technology can help bridge the digital divide for people with disabilities. In fact, new technologies have the potential to bring an estimated 350 million people with disabilities into the workforce over the next 10 years—provided we design with accessibility in mind today.
For many persons with disabilities, employment opportunities are scarce. But according to Paul Clayton, analyst—Geographic Services, who is visually impaired, that’s not the case at Accenture. For Paul, Braille software and a Braille embosser to read and produce documents are tools of the trade in his role. A mobile phone with speech software enables him to easily access contacts and scanning software gives him access to printed materials while on the move.
Similarly, Joaquin Ortiz, senior analyst in Business and System Integration, who was born deaf, relies on various technology such as text messages, instant messaging, email, video relay service and real-time remote interpreting service for virtual and live team meetings.
Technologies like these are not only helping people with disabilities succeed in the workplace, they are also helping them enjoy the simple pleasures in life we often take for granted. Have you ever thought about how the hearing-impaired experience music? BleeTech and Accenture Labs are enabling the hearing impaired to transform music into vibrations and dance in unison. The BleeWatch—a wearable device—was built using Accenture Labs research in artificial intelligence (AI), haptics (interaction involving touch) and wearables.
Human-centered design is inclusive by nature. It is grounded in understanding an individual’s needs and then designing the technology and interfaces to meet those needs. As companies focus on designing technology for convenience and simplicity, the success of their designs is multiplied by empowering people with disabilities.
By making sure the awareness, structures and tools are in place, companies can help ensure that people with disabilities have what they need to succeed and reach their full potential. And in the end, individuals with disabilities benefit from more fulfilling work, businesses benefit from access to more talent, and society benefits from increased employment.
Accenture is committed to inclusion and diversity and to the belief that accessibility benefits everyone in the organization—not only persons with disabilities. Accessibility also assists with language barriers, cultural understanding and any person facing a permanent or temporary disability due to physical mobility, neurodiversity, disease or aging.
From scoping technology that is compliant with accessibility standards and establishing a dedicated accessibility program to changing content creation and consumption behaviors and fostering strategic partnerships to develop accessible software products, Accenture is advancing on our multi-year road map to meet our goal of making 100 percent of technology interactions accessible for our people.
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