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Meeting the tech needs of disabled people – new toolkit launched

A close up of a man's hands texting on a phone. The man has manual dexterity issues.

The right technology can make communication easier

A free online resource to help businesses meet the needs of disabled people around technology was launched by Business Disability Forum today (20 May).

The Technology Toolkit provides practical advice and strategies for employers and businesses on how to introduce inclusive technology into their existing systems and to design with inclusion in mind. The toolkit has been created by disabled people and accessibility experts from Business Disability Forum’s Technology Taskforce.

When used well, technology can improve the user experience for disabled people by making products and services more accessible. Speaking about how live captioning on his phone has changed his life, one man told Business Disability Forum:

“For the first time in my life I was able to call like everyone else, just pick up and phone someone. And it’s wonderful. Now, I’m able to call my son, my doctor, my builder, my banker, anybody. Seriously, I use my phone literally every day, where before that I didn’t and that is what inclusivism means.”

However, technology can also be a barrier if the needs of disabled people have not been taken into account. With the spending power of disabled people in the UK estimated to be £274 billion, Business Disability Forum is urging all businesses to take an inclusive approach to technology.

Business Disability Forum’s Tech Taskforce Manager, Lucy Ruck, said:

“Thinking about accessibility from the beginning reduces the need for retrofitting later and makes good business sense. But creating inclusive tech solutions is not just about disability. It is about making products and services that work better for everyone and for your organisation. This makes accessibility essential for all businesses, not just on Global Accessibility Awareness Day but every day.”

The Technology Toolkit includes resources on:

  • Integrating assistive technology tools within existing systems.
  • Understanding the role of new and emerging technologies, including AI.
  • Using technology to provide adjustments or accommodations that empower disabled people.
  • Purchasing technology that will work for everyone, including disabled people.
  • Using accessibility standards and user testing to make informed decisions.

Go to the Technology Toolkit homepage to access the free toolkit.


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