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Call for Tougher European Access Laws

A more solid European legal foundation is needed to enforce technology accessibility, a leading software expert from Yahoo! told E-Access 09.

Artur Ortega, ‘accessibility evangelist’ at Yahoo! Europe, said that ensuring more accessible products were developed would be a challenge, but that a legal basis for accessibility would actually impact positively on suppliers.

“At the moment, we can only preach accessibility, because there’s no legal requirement as such. If more and more countries get a legal foundation for it, I think the IT industry would say – okay, it’s a requirement, we’re going to [uphold] it.”

This would ultimately improve product design and lower costs, Ortega said

Nina Warburton, director of design consultancy Alloy (
http://www.thealloy.com/ ),
urged an end to over-complicated design for everyday products such as mobile phones, saying all technology should be intuitive, comfortable and easy-to-use. Although numerous products are created with the intention of making life easier, for many users – including those with disabilities – the opposite is often the case, she said.

“Inclusive design is just good design – it’s as simple as that. We need to make inclusive design the mainstream.”

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