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Digital technology is everywhere
Think about all the tasks you do that require technology: online banking; using social media; a smartphone; an EFTPOS machine; an ATM.
But there’s a problem
These technologies are largely inaccessible to persons with disabilities.
Inaccessibility may take the form of, for example:
- a website being designed incorrectly, so a screen reader cannot properly navigate it or read its content;
- a touch-screen EFTPOS device that has no tactile access, so cannot be used by a person who is blind and/or has a disability affecting the steadiness of their hands;
- an audio safety announcement that is uncaptioned, so cannot be understood by a person who is deaf.
Inaccessibility prevents hundreds of thousands of Australians from interacting with technology and using it to its full potential.
Why isn't digital technology regulated by basic standards like those for accessibility ramps in buildings?
Here’s what we’re doing about it
Digital Gap Initiative is a not-for-profit formed in December 2014. We educate government, business and the community on accessible technology. We also research accessibility and lobby for law reform when it comes to accessibility of the technology we all use and enjoy everyday.
People experiencing disability need and want access to these technologies, too! And the best thing is that it's not difficult for technology to be designed for access. The key is to think about acessibility in the early days of a product's development.
We are creating an inclusive digital world by helping government, business and the wider community understand just how easy it is.
You can join us
Digital Gap Initiative has been invited to Canberra on World Usability Day to share our work with our politicians and others who have the power to ensure that this issue is addressed. We need to show them what it's like for a person who is blind, for example, to use websites and touch-screen payment devices whose design overlooks accessibility.
About 1 in 5 Australians live with a disability. Accessibility is an incontrovertible issue for the agenda.
The cost of sending the Initiative to Canberra and presenting at Parliament is $3,000, including (brochures, multimedia presentations, etc) and travel and accommodation for four of our key Committee Members and their guide dogs, D'artagnan and Princess Val. Any money raised over the $3,000 mark will help us to produce quality publications, brochures and audio-visual material for the event, and for future use.
Please help us make this happen - donate now and/or invite your friends to do the same.
If the knowing you have contributed to something worthwhile just isn't enough, here are some perks:
$5 or more = social media shout-out (optional)
$50 or more = go in the draw to win a collector's edition Dalek (raffle drawn in Parliament House on 12 November 2015)
$100 or more = go in the draw to win a Space Pen (aka Zero Gravity Pen) to be used on all of your intergalactic missions (also works within the Earth's atmosphere)
*To be eligible for any of these perks, you must provide your contact details to Chuffed.org when donating (ie, do not donate anonymously)