Despite the rapid advancements in technology, it remains unnecessarily difficult for employers to recruit and retain disabled people and do business with disabled customers. With a growing emphasis on information and communication technology (ICT) as a key driver for the global economy, public and private sector organisations are increasingly expected to ensure that their ICT help them to meet and serve their employees, customers and stakeholders.
In the UK, the law requires business to take steps to ensure that their technologies do not disadvantage disabled customers or employees. Working collectively as the Technology Taskforce, a number of enlightened businesses have realised that an approach of defining best practice for the way that they develop, buy and sell their ICT, rather than mere compliance, can transform legal obligation to business and wider economic benefit.
A key factor in influencing the way that ICT is developed to their maximum potential is by considering accessibility. Accessibility applies to any public or corporate website, office system, application software or web-based services or tools.
Accessible technology is designed to make life easier for everyone but will particularly help: people who are older, disabled people, those with lower levels of literacy or speakers of different languages.
Technology Taskforce members the BBC define accessibility as "whether a product (for example, a website, mobile site, digital TV interface or application) can be used by people of all abilities and disabilities. For instance, a website is accessible if all people, including disabled and elderly people, can use it."