“One key thing to inclusive design is personalization. Getting devices to speak to one another is an important part of making accessibility work.”
In the past decade, “assistant technology” made possible by the Internet of Things has been warmly embraced by 85 percent of the world. In this podcast, we explore how inclusivity and accessibility in new IoT breakthroughs impact people with disabilities and amplify day-to-day living for all of society.
According to Gartner, 15 percent of the world’s population has a disability. The market value for inclusive design is more than $8T. This is why the Head of Accessibility and Digital Inclusion at Atos, our featured podcast guest, Neil Milliken, says that the expectation is now that everything become more user friendly.
Neil says that inclusivity paired with lessons learned from early adopters perpetuate a virtuous cycle of innovation and cost savings for high tech disruptors seeking to test technology against every possible human constraint.
As a result, he says the term “inclusive design” offers more promise than “universal design”.
“One key thing to inclusive design is personalization,” said Neil. “Getting devices to speak to one another is an important part of making accessibility work.”
As companies focus on creating more personalized technology to exceed customer demands, there are two major benefits. Technologist gain a strong understanding of how their technology works and how people actively use it.
Neil, who has dyslexia, uses technology to assist his day-to-day lifestyle -- as do the tens of thousands of active IoT users he interacts with in the Access Chat network. Neil has used his professional experience in and outside of work to create award-winning mobile apps, company best practices and communities to support those with disabilities.
He says he finds it truly gratifying to enable people to get a job, keep a job and/or discover how technology can make their lives easier.
Neil recommends high tech companies take these three steps in the pursuit of accessibility and inclusion:
The World Health Organization describes having a disability as a mismatch between a person and their environment which creates a barrier for full participation. Society is using tech to take down those barriers. By making technology more customized and accessible, influencers like Neil create a competitive advantage by understanding the full scope of any and all users’ experience in the deepest way possible.