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Major Employers Launch Accessibility Taskforce.

A taskforce to help businesses provide accessible technology to employees and customers has been launched by the UK’s Employers’ Forum on Disability (EFD – http://www.efd.org.uk),a body whose members include some of the country’s largest corporations and public agencies.

The aim of the forum’s Business Taskforce on Accessible Technology is to “make accessibility and usability as fundamental to IT as security is now,” said Steve Lamey, Chief Operating Officer of HM Revenue & Customs and chair of the new group.

Some parts of the business community are still failing to see the benefits of improving accessibility, the forum says. Accordingly, one of the most important jobs of the new taskforce will be to promote awareness of the strong business case for engaging with disabled people as both colleagues and customers.

Accessibility adjustment can be simple and inexpensive, such as making better use of accessibility options in MS Office, and can lead to major benefits, the forum says. For example, accessible recruitment would open the door to another 1.3 million potential employees in the UK, it says. And accessible websites can be up to 75 per cent smaller, making them quicker to load and reducing infrastructure demand. Legal and General’s new accessible website increased online sales by 90,000 pounds and reduced costs by over 200,000 per annum, the forum says.

Taskforce members include representatives of leading global brands such as Goldman Sachs and Sainsbury’s. It will help members share tips and advice; encourage suppliers to deliver more accessible products; and try to improve training in the provision of accessible IT solutions.

NOTE: For a full background report on the Employers’ Forum on
Disability see http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=192

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