Skip to the content \ accessibility

Archive for the 'Digital inclusion' Category

« Previous Entries Next Entries »

Talking Cash Machines Win Technology4Good Award

Banking and financial services company Barclays is among winners of the Technology4Good Awards 2013, an annual event which celebrates the potential of technology to affect social change.

The award recognises Barclays’ use of technology in making its services more accessible to people with disabilities and impairments. This includes adapting more than 3,500 of its ATMs (automated teller machines, or cashpoints) – 84% of the bank’s network – so that they can be used with earphones, allowing people with impaired vision, dyslexia or other reading problems to listen to the on-screen options.

(more…)

Digital Inclusion “About Everybody, Not Just Disabled People”

The concept of digital accessibility simply as a means of catering for disabled users is out-of-date: in the modern world, digital inclusion must be understood as the need to serve everybody, whatever their access method or device, a leading accessibility specialist has said.

Robin Christopherson, head of digital inclusion at technology access charity AbilityNet, told delegates at the recent national digital conference in London, ND13, that providers of digital content and services already need to adapt to new devices and access methods. With more people than ever accessing websites through mobile and other devices, we are in a situation where “everybody is disabled from time-to-time”, Christopherson said.

(more…)

Disability Still A Major Factor In Determining UK Internet Use, Report Finds

UK adults with a disability are still three times less likely to have used the internet than those without a disability, a report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has shown.

The figures in the latest Internet Access Quarterly Update, released every four months, show that at the first quarter of 2013, there were 3.7 million disabled adults – as defined by the Disability Discrimination Act – who had never used the internet, representing 32% of all adults in the UK with a disability.

(more…)

Tech Giant Launches Smartphone For Older People

A smartphone designed for elderly people has been developed by global technology company Fujitsu.

When setting up the Stylistic S01 phone the user inputs their age, which customises some aspects to work differently. For example, the audio frequency range will be optimised for older people so they can clearly hear the voice of the person they are speaking to, and the phone can also slow down the speech of a caller without losing audio quality, again making it easier to understand.

(more…)

Age UK’s Internet Champion: My Online Life Began At 75

By Brenda O’Mulloy.

I have had a fantastic year as Age UK’s Internet Champion of 2012. First there was the honour of winning, followed by the excitement of being broadcast live on BBC radio, speaking at high profile conferences and events and being interviewed by a variety of newspapers and magazines all with the aim of extolling the virtues of using the internet in later life.

My son bought me a computer when I was 75. He connected me to the internet and changed my life! I had been feeling very cut off after moving away from my friends and family – my family live 200 miles away – and the passing of my husband.
(more…)

User Priorities Must Drive Accessible ICT Research, Warns Telecoms Expert

Research and investment priorities for the digital economy and development of internet services and mobile devices must reflect the needs of disabled and elderly people, a telecommunications expert has warned.

In a video address to a London event on the future of accessible ICT research( http://bit.ly/T0SkH2 ), Dr Mike Short, vice president of Telefónica Europe and former president of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, said customer demand for more accessible services has risen over the past ten years. Accordingly, mobile network providers need to think about different groups of users when planning for future growth, including the benefits that universal design can offer to everybody, Short said.
(more…)

Call For New Task-Based Approach To Digital Inclusion

A “change in mind set” on digital inclusion is needed by organisations in all sectors after a general failure to create accessible digital systems – particularly for those with a disability or the elderly – a new report by technology access charity AbilityNet says.

“Mind the Digital Gap: It’s bigger than you think” says that although there has been much discussion on accessibility and inclusive digital systems over the past 15 years, this has not yielded significant results. “The reality is … that apart from a small number of good examples, many digital systems and content are inaccessible to the majority of disabled and older people. The current methodology … has failed and we need a change in mind set on how we approach digital inclusion,” it says.
(more…)

Internet Use Cuts Depression In Elderly, Study Finds

Elderly people who regularly use the internet are less likely to suffer from depression, new research from a US university has found.

The research, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, found that regular internet usage in retired Americans aged 50 and older reduced depression by 20-28% and helped promote mental well-being among this group.

The definition of regular internet use was based on people’s own answers to the question: “Do you regularly use the World Wide Web, or the Internet, for sending and receiving e-mail or for any other purpose…?”) and depression was classified by the ‘eight-item version’ of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies’ Depression Scale – a commonly used method for measuring depression.

“Internet use and depression among older adults” was compiled by Shelia Cotten, George Ford, Sherry Ford and Timothy Hale using existing data from a survey covering both internet usage and health among US adults aged 50 and older, conducted as part of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), an ongoing study into ageing by the University of Michigan.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham study notes that much prior research on the relationship between internet use and depression among older adults has been based “on small samples, which limit the statistical sophistication and the robustness of the findings”. The HRS sample was larger, surveying 7,839 older adults who are retired and not living in a nursing home.

The new research concludes: “Internet use reduces the probability of a depression categorization for older adults by about 20%–28%. The effects of Internet use on depression are large and positive, resolving, at least to some extent, the lack of evidence supporting the Internet’s impact on depression among older adults.”

Dr Cotten told E-Access Bulletin that the most important finding of this study is that “there is a strong and robust effect of Internet usage on depression. What this means is that regardless of the statistical analysis techniques used, internet users were 20%-28% less likely to be classified as depressed. This suggests that we should be encouraging more older adults to become Internet users.”

Dr Cotten said other research she has conducted in this area shows that “using the internet provides a way for older adults to find information, garner resources, and communicate with members of their social networks. The ability to stay in touch with others and find support when needed are likely responsible for the beneficial impacts of Internet use on mental health among older adults.”

NOTE: For many more stories like this delivered free by email every month, sign up for E-Access Bulletin at:
http://www.headstar.com

Launch for National Accessibility Awareness Campaign

Go ON Gold, a new national campaign to raise awareness about the barriers faced by disabled people in accessing modern technologies, from the internet to smartphones and digital TV, was launched this week by a consortium of partners lead by Headstar, the publisher of E-Access Bulletin.

Running for a year from summer 2012 to summer 2013, Go ON Gold is being launched ahead of the London Paralympics to capitalise on a stronger- than-usual public focus on disability issues.

At the project’s core is a partnership between the UK’s major e-accessibility players including the new national digital inclusion charity Go ON UK led by Martha Lane Fox, the UK government’s Digital Champion. Other partners include Headstar; AbilityNet, the UK’s leading charity on access to IT; BCS; the UK’s national blindness charity RNIB; Disability Rights UK (formerly RADAR), an umbrella group of other major charities; and the Equality and Human Rights Commission. The project is funded by Nominet Trust.

A series of video interviews with leading figures in the disability community – including Paralympic athletes – are being created for the campaign, about how access to new technologies has transformed their lives. All organisations and individuals invited to embed the videos in their own site. The Go ON Gold website also intends to act as a signpost to all the best accessibility resources elsewhere on the web.

Any organisation can sign up to become a Go ON Gold partner.

Launch For New National Disability IT Network.

A new network of 51 specialist organisations across England have been funded to help local computer users with a disability or learning difficulty to get online and use government services.

The Disability Network initiative has been launched by the national technology access body UK Online Centres ( http://www.ukonlinecentres.com/ ), with specialist learning providers across England receiving funding of £7,500 each to provide training and support to disabled computer users.

(more…)

« Previous Entries Next Entries »