Deploying solutions for IT accessibility 'can have wider benefits'

Monday 23 December 2013

Businesses have been urged to deploy technologies to improve IT accessibility for employees.

According to IT analyst Gartner, those companies which address accessibility needs in their IT product development are "better positioned" to use the same technologies for mass market solutions.

The firm claimed that people with disabilities are "an underserved market segment" with one billion people worldwide.

"People with disabilities make up 15 per cent of the world 's population and some of the assistive technology marketed to people with disabilities can also be sold to the other 85 per cent of the population that is 'situationally disabled'  by their environmental conditions, at work and at play," said Andrew Johnson, managing vice president at Gartner.

"Every day situational disabilities include listening to a conference call in a noisy airport, or using a mobile phone while driving or while wearing gloves."

Mr Johnson said that, in many cases, assistive technology features will not only help mitigate common environmental factors, but can be used as the foundation to improve security and enhance privacy for everyone.

He commented that the assistive technology market itself is "vast", but the potential market size is "considerably larger" when devices designed as assistive technology can have applications for the mass market.

Text-to-speech recognition and optical character recognition are two technologies which could be used more broadly, he suggested.

Have you thought about how Microsoft technology could help manage employees more effectively?

Posted by Jenny Arthur