Written by Mark Magennis Friday, 08 August 2014
As has recently been pointed out in E-Access Bulletin, 19 of the 22 resolutions passed at this year’s annual Convention of the U.S. National Federation of the Blind (NFB) relate to digital technology. 16 of these relate to inaccessibility of mainstream technologies, from school laboratory equipment to workplace software.
We wondered whether analysing the number of NFB resolutions relating to technologies over the past couple of decades might provide some sort of barometer of the growing importance of technology in the lives of people with visual impairments. This does seem to be the case. The figures show how technology has risen from relatively minor importance in 1990 to dominate the inclusion agenda in 2014.
Thursday, 27 March 2014
While the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 are stable and do not change, the Understanding and Techniques are supporting documents with advice for people using and implementing WCAG.
Thursday, 27 March 2014
The 'SWiFT 9: 2012 Universal Design for Energy Suppliers' standard has been awarded 'Innovative Policy 2014' at the United Nations in Vienna.
Dr. Antoinette Fennell, Fiona Kelty and Joshue O Connor of NCBI worked as consultants on this standard with the Commission for Energy Regulation last year. NCBI are delighted that the standard has received such a prestigious award.
The SWiFT 9 standard is part of the Code of Practice of the Commission for Energy Regulation. It guides energy providers on how to meet their legal obligations under EU regulations. A Universal Design Toolkit for customer engagement was also developed in order to assist energy suppliers with applying the guidelines.
SWiFT 9 is the first standard adopted by the energy sector that obliges energy suppliers to make all their communications accessible. The Standard is already being implemented by energy suppliers in Ireland.
Wednesday, 30 October 2013
The last decade has seen a considerable increase in the amount of user research that is being carried out and in particular in the number of disciplines in which it is being applied.
In technology design and development, while terms like human-computer interaction and human factors research have been in existence for some time, many new terms are emerging, such as user experience design or UX. These terms emphasise the priority of identifying user behaviours, addressing user needs and achieving user acceptance through the design process.
While research with human participants has been carried out for centuries in the medical research field, many new design disciplines have begun to study factors such as human behaviour, attitudes, interactions and movement to inform the development of technology, products, services and buildings. With this shift comes a real need to promote ethics in user research.