Intuitively Right: Inclusive Design And Accessibility

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Maricel Cabahug our OPENINING SPEAKER 2019

Money to put a roof over our heads and food on the table is an undeniable benefit of having a job, but work also often gives our lives structure, satisfaction, security, and social connection too. It enables us to grow personally and contribute to society. If you’re skeptical about the positive benefits of work besides income, ask someone who would like to work but cannot.

Article 23 of the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights enshrines the right to work. Going a step further, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities states that access to information technology is a basic human right. That places a special responsibility on enterprise software vendors. They must ensure that all of their customers’ employees – with their diverse needs and preferences – can use the software. After all, barriers that inhibit a person from contributing their talents to their workplace impinge on corporate and social progress.

One in seven

By embracing inclusive design, we strive to create software that can be used “out-of-the-box” by as many people as possible. The World Health Organization estimates that there are 1 billion people in the world living with a disability. That’s one in seven of us. Of those 1 billion, 80% of cases are acquired in later life, and our aging global population means the prevalence of disability is on the rise. At some point, you and I may need – or prefer– options for interacting with our digital systems that we don’t use right now. Why on earth should we limit ourselves?

Inclusive design and accessibility

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