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Global committee comes to the UK in new inclusive tech event

The UK chapter of an international accessibility organisation will formally launch at a new conference in London in November.

The TechShare Pro conference will host the introduction of the UK branch of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP), alongside a programme of talks, workshops and activities on digital inclusivity.

Founded in the United States in 2014, IAAP is a non-profit membership group that aims to help embed accessible products, services and content globally, by supporting individuals and organisations wanting to improve their accessibility. It became part of G3ict (the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs) in 2016, and the new UK branch was founded by technology inclusion charity AbilityNet, Barclays, Lloyds, TextHelp and IT services company Atos.

Speaking to e-Access Bulletin about this new development, Nigel Lewis, CEO of AbilityNet and co-founder of the UK Chapter of IAAP, said: “The IAAP brings accessibility experts together to define, promote and improve the accessibility profession through networking, education and certification. We’re launching our UK Chapter at TechShare Pro as the conference is aimed specifically at digital accessibility and UX professionals – it’s the perfect platform for us to talk about the professionalisation of digital accessibility.”

TechShare Pro is a new event that has evolved from the TechShare Europe events organised by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) in previous years. The new conference is organised by RNIB and AbilityNet.

The event will explore how digital products and services are being designed to become more inclusive, both for people with disabilities and in a wider sense for all users.

A range of topics will be covered at the conference, but there will be a focus on how evolving technologies are increasing opportunities for accessibility, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and augmented and virtual reality.

Speakers announced so far include representatives from Google, O2, Orcam and Microsoft. O2 will be discussing voice-driven media players with RNIB, Google will be talking about how smart home developments can potentially aid independent living, and Orcam will be exploring wearable technologies and using the Amazon Echo for accessibility purposes. Microsoft will be leading an ‘inclusive hack’ throughout the conference.

Further speakers and a full programme will be announced nearer the event.

TechShare Pro takes place on November 23 at IBM’s office in South Bank, London. Tickets cost £150 or £75 for those from non-profit organisations.

Read more about TechShare Pro at AbilityNet’s website:
http://eab.li/7x .

Read more about the International Association of Accessibility Professionals at the IAAP website:
http://eab.li/7y .

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