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Archive for October, 2009

ICT Data Gap ‘Hindering Disabled Business Owners’

A lack of reliable data about the use of ICT by people with disabilities is making it harder for disabled entrepreneurs to succeed, delegates heard at a recent debate hosted by the Information Technologists’ Company, a livery company of the City of London.

The debate was on the motion: “This House believes that it is harder for disabled entrepreneurs to compete in the fast-moving digital age”.

Technology and disabled entrepreneurship – Open for Business?

By Tristan Parker.

Few businesses in the modern world do not make use of digital technology. But how does this affect the half a million disabled people running their own businesses in the UK? This was the question posed earlier this month by the Information Technologists’ Company (ITC) as they debated the motion: “This House believes that it is harder for disabled entrepreneurs to compete in the fast-moving digital age.”

Speaking in support of the motion was Penny Melville-Brown, senior consultant at Disability Dynamics ( ), an organisation offering equality training and consultancy. She argued that as well as poor access to technology, the technology itself was also holding back disabled people in business.

Access Information Absent From TV Set Maker Websites

One of the UK’s leading experts on accessible technology has called for TV set manufacturers to provide better information on their websites about access to their products by people with disabilities.

Adrian Higginbotham, manager of cutting edge research at the UK’s education technology agency Becta, made the comments after his own attempts to buy an accessible TV set which supported audio description (AD) were hampered repeatedly by poor information online.

EC Proposes Law To Address ‘Fragmented’ Accessibility Rules

A ‘European Disability Act’ has been proposed by the European Commission to standardise guidelines on web accessibility for disabled people.

In a speech in Brussels earlier this month, Viviane Reding – commissioner for information society and media – said approaches need to be harmonised throughout Europe. “We cannot achieve the single market by leaving aside certain parts of our population”, said Reding. “I am talking about e-accessibility: 15% of our population is disabled, and our rules on accessibility are still fragmented.”