Accessibility functions on mobile devices are becoming mainstream and mobile manufacturers are now competing to make their devices more accessible, the president of international digital accessibility body G3ict has said.
Speaking at the M-Enabling Australasia 2013 event in Australia, Axel Leblois said accessibility has become a driving force in the mobile market.
“For the first time in my entire life in the industry, I see that major vendors are competing for accessibility. That is because everyone, every day, who uses a smartphone, living with a disability or not, is going to encounter an instant of disability”, Leblois said.
He said anyone might encounter a temporary impairment when using their mobile device, such as not being able to see the screen in some situations or relying on writing and reading text when the user cannot make phone calls.
“Those [accessibility] features – so important for people with disabilities – are essential for most users today. That’s why you see such competition and why you see iOS and Windows competing for the best accessibility features”, Leblois said.
Businesses are also increasingly seeing the business case for making their digital products accessible, he said. “Why would a microwave oven not have voice controls, since it will be so cheap, because it’s becoming digitised in the mobile industry?” he said. “[Accessibility] has a profound effect on everything.”
Transcripts and presentations from M-Enabling 2013 – organised by the Australian Communications Consumer Network – can be found below: