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Archive for the 'retail' Category

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New app helps to combat poor customer service faced by people with disabilities

A new app-based system has been launched that aims to “shake up” the customer service industry across shops, banks and other venues.

The Welcome app lets people with disabilities tell shops and venues of their arrival, so that staff can provide tailored assistance suited to their condition.

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Online shopping ‘not as inclusive as it should be,’ new research finds

The websites of six popular UK retailers would not achieve the basic standard of online content accessibility, according to new research by a usability consultancy.

After a series of ‘mini-accessibility audits,’ accessibility design consultancy User Vision found that some online shoppers with impairments would have difficulty purchasing items from each of the websites examined, due to a number of common barriers.

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Inaccessible websites dent business profits, as online shoppers ‘click away’

UK businesses are losing out on huge sums of money – potentially totalling billions of pounds – by failing to make their websites accessible to users with access needs, new research claims.

Published by disability consultancy Freeney Williams, the Click-Away Pound (CAP) Survey assessed the “online shopping experience of customers with disabilities, and the costs to business of ignoring them.”

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Accessibility without the excessive price: affordable tech site launched

A new online resource has been launched to help people make informed choices about low-cost accessible technology.

The Affordable Access project (found at the following link:
http://eab.li/2o )
provides easy-to-understand information on a wide range of products and devices, all for under 250 Australian Dollars (equivalent to around £150 / 190 US Dollars). Technology covered on the site includes: tablet computers, smartphones, apps, desktop computers and TV streaming devices.

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Survey puts a price on frustrated shoppers ‘clicking away’

Widespread research will find out how much money UK businesses are losing by failing to make their websites accessible to users with disabilities.

The Click-Away Pound survey (CAP) asks internet users with disabilities about their online shopping experiences across a range of sectors, including banking, supermarkets and travel. Rick Williams, managing director of disability consultancy Freeney Williams, came up with the idea after 15 years of assessing and auditing poorly designed websites through his work.

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Guidelines Cover Accessibility For Smart Homes Of The Future

The latest version of a set of guidelines for accessible design in ICT systems, including information on making technology-enabled ‘smart homes’ accessible to disabled and elderly people, has been released by a leading consultant.

The guidelines are produced by John Gill OBE, consultant in technology for persons with disabilities and former chief scientist at the Royal National Institute of Blind People. Gill has compiled the guidance over a number of years, as an introduction to building accessible systems in a wide range of areas. A checklist, showing how different accessibility considerations in types of ICT equipment can aid different types of impairment, is also included.
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Elderly Needs Study Could Be First “Crowdfunded” Social Research

A study into the consumer needs of elderly and disabled residents of a UK town could be the UK’s first piece of social research to be “crowdfunded”, E-Access Bulletin has learned.

The project was developed by the non-profit campaign group Eastbourne Designed For All ( http://www.eastbournedesignedforall.co.uk/ ), which aims to pass on advice to businesses in the Sussex town on how to design products and services to be as accessible as possible to the area’s high proportion of elderly and disabled residents.

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Ro O’Shay: The World at My Fingertips

After training as a clinical support worker, US-based blogger Ro O’Shay was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2006, before losing her sight in 2008. Since then, the internet and new communications technologies have gradually become a lifeline for her, and she is now a keen writer and technology-user. Tristan Parker talks to her about her passion for technology.

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Apps Risk Creating New World of Exclusion, Report Finds

Developers of mobile apps must build in “as much choice, adaptability and flexibility as possible” to their products to maximise accessibility for disabled people, or risk creating a whole new world of digital exclusion, a new report finds.

‘Moving together: mobile apps for inclusion and assistance’ ( http://bit.ly/yBTdwo ) was written by E-Access Bulletin editor Dan Jellinek with Peter Abrahams of Bloor Research, on behalf of the OneVoice for Accessible IT Coalition.

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UK’s First Inbuilt Text-To-Speech TVs Hit The Shelves

Electronics manufacturer Panasonic has built text-to-speech functionality into 30 of its television models, designed specifically to help blind and visually impaired users, making them the first such TVs to become available on the UK general market.

After switching on the function during installation, text-to-speech will be present over a wide range of tasks in the televisions, including speaking the channel number and name of a programme when switching channels; the time that a programme begins and ends; and whether other accessibility features such as audio description are available for a programme.

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