Sunday, July 10, 2011

iDevices and apps are good for disability and ageing

It really gets up my nose when organisations lump together ageing and disability as being the same 'problem'. A while back the telecoms regulator OFCOM had an advisory group for “ageing and disability”. Like a lot of things I think this is now history, as a result of the ‘cuts’.

Having said all of this, let's be honest, there is a big cross-over between the two things. Business Week has an article about the way that i-things have features that are intrinsically good for people with sensory problems

The iPhone 4 and the iPad 2 come with VoiceOver, a screen reader for those who can’t read print, as well as FaceTime, video-calling software for people who communicate using sign language.

Apple has said that iOS 5—due later this year—will contain improvements to VoiceOver and LED flash and custom vibration settings to let users see and feel when someone is calling.

Two interesting quotes
"Boomers will demand products, services, and workplaces that adapt to their needs and desires," says the chief investment officer at WingSail Capital. Crossover technology such as the iPad, which works well both for people with disabilities and the broader consumer market, are the "holy grail" of business and disability efforts and will drive growth in disability-related capital spending.
Companies such as Apple are motivated, at least in part, to create products that work for people with disabilities because the population is aging, says the marketing director of accessible technology at Lighthouse International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting vision loss.
My research with Kim Walker goes one step further than saying that Apple’s products are ‘good’ for oldies. Most things that Apple does, across all of the customer touchpoints, are age-friendly.

It is no good having terrific disability-friendly devices if all of the other aspects of the organisation, work or public environment are a disability assault course. Dick Stroud

No comments: