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Future innovations and Initiatives at E-Access '10

Events news published: Tuesday 14th September 2010

New innovations and an 'eAccessibility forum' to improve technology access for those with disabilities, government minister and other speakers tell delegates at E-Access '10 event.

A range of new initiatives and technologies designed to help ensure people with disabilities are included in the digital revolution were outlined by speakers and presented by exhibitors at Headstar's E-Access '10 event in London during July:

Ed Vaizey, Government Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, backed the ambitious manifesto drawn up by the UK's digital champion Martha Lane Fox and presented the government's own plans for a new 'eAccessibility forum'.

The forum will work on a new regulatory framework and try to support businesses in this area, said Vaizey. For coverage of his speech, see E-Access Bulletin, issue 127:

Sean Smith, IT manager at HM Revenue and Customs, told the conference technology companies still had a way to go to embrace accessibility. "A lot of the IT industry still doesn't get it" said Smith. "It's still too easy to buy a product that isn't accessible, from some reasonably large organisations as well. The way around that is for organisations to club together and make it plain to suppliers that accessibility is important."

However, many employers are "starting to get the message" said Smith. He suggested breaking down online systems development within an organisation into smaller, easily accessible components: "This is something we're doing in our organisation and that I see others doing. Instead of building online systems, we're building online components which are accessible. If you take those bricks and build your system around them, you build in accessibility right from the very start, and every time you produce a new system it's going to be accessible. You have to work hard to make it inaccessible. I see this as a good sign because it means that accessibility is becoming mainstream in IT development" Smith said.

For more information about Headstar's E-Access '10 event, visit:

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