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This content is taken from the University of Southampton & MOOCAP's online course, Digital Accessibility: Enabling Participation in the Information Society. Join the course to learn more.

Course summary

In week 5, we have seen how important it is not to disempower people by making technology applications inaccessible, hard to understand or use and we have also seen the immense power of technology to enable people.

We also discussed some principles, as well as reviewing standards, guidelines and best practices, including looking at how to involve a wide range of users in design and testing of products and services.

If you have followed our course and you are:

  • a designer: we hope you will see how you can avoid creating inaccessible products and systems, and that you will agree that tackling the challenges involved in accessibility are exciting and rewarding in that they can lead to innovative products and systems that are ultimately better designed and comfortable for everyone

  • an interested member of the community: we hope you may be able to describe the problems you see with the technologies around you, and be empowered to make well founded recommendations for how these might be solved

  • a person with good knowledge of disabilities and barriers: we hope you will use this information to help you to advocate for more accessibility

As we move into a world of:

  • ‘Smart homes’ - controlled by digital panels with touch screens, with integrated kitchen appliances)

and start to move about in

  • ‘Smart cities’, with digital information about travel at our fingertips on smart internet enabled devices, not to mention smart bus-stops and intelligent cars

In a world enabled by the

  • Internet of Things (IoT) and exciting convergences of technologies such as robotics, sensing technologies and augmented realities

It is in our power to understand what makes living in this world difficult for us personally or for our fellow citizens. Making things easier to use normally makes things easier for everyone. We can all benefit from accessibility.

The exciting challenge is to make sure no one is left out…

© This work is a derivative of a work created by The University of the Aegean, and licensed under CC-BY BY 4.0 International Licence adapted and used by the University of Southampton. Erasmus + MOOCs for Accessibility Partnership.

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This article is from the free online course:

Digital Accessibility: Enabling Participation in the Information Society

University of Southampton