Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) 2019

easy to read logo

To celebrate the Global Accessibility Awareness Day, the European Disability Forum made their report “Plug and Pray – A disability perspective on artificial intelligence, automated decision-making and emerging technologies (Accessible PDF)” available to all. As the team had some involvement with the report it is exciting to see it now in print and in an Easy to Read version.

Some conclusions of the report include:

  • Teams working on new technologies are not diverse enough. Industry needs to assure that their teams reflect diversity of general population; 
  • Accessibility and principles of Universal Design should be part of the curricula when teaching design, computer sciences, user experience and other related subjects.
  • Organisations of persons with disabilities and organisations working on digital rights need to work closer together. “

But as Shadi Abou-Zahra said in the latest EDF news letter on the subject of ‘Technology is for People, Not the Other Way Round’

” As technology continues to evolve at lightning speed, we also see the opportunities and challenges continue to multiply. A friend of mine was recently using a mobile app that uses artificial intelligence techniques to recognise objects and text in front of the camera. He was using it to orient himself in a hotel he had just checked into. The app explained the layout of the hallways and read out the door numbers on the signs so that he could find his room as a blind person traveling alone for business. This is mind blowing considering that mainstream deployment and use of artificial intelligence is only in its early stages.”

There will be more presentations and discussions around AI and Inclusion at the AAATE 2019 Conference on Global Challenges in Assistive Technology Research, Policy & Practice 27 – 30 August, Bologna (Italy)