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Digital apps and devices not developed with disabled in mind, study says

Thursday, April 24th 2014 by Luke Thompson
Disabled people overlooked in app development, study claims (Thinkstock/iStock)

A new BT study shows many Brits think digital technology often doesn't take disabled audiences into account.

More than two in three UK consumers think computer devices and apps aren't being developed with the needs of disabled audiences in mind, according to new BT research.

The study, carried out in partnership with national charity AbilityNet to support the Tech4Good awards, questioned 2,000 adults on ways technology can be used for the good of society as a whole.

Some 62 per cent of respondents said they believe tech has the potential to boost digital inclusion, while over a third called for businesses to make a public commitment to fund and develop accessibility features for digital devices and services.

Furthermore, 44 per cent of those surveyed suggested digital education should include training on accessibility, in a bid to encourage developers to consider disabled people when creating new apps and services.

Robin Christopherson, Head of Digital Inclusion at AbilityNet, said that for disabled people, technology can be the difference between being able to enjoy the same opportunities as other people and having no opportunities at all.

"This research highlights the crucial role technology plays in solving the unsolvable and helping people get on with daily life," he added. 

"Through the Tech4Good awards we want to champion the individuals and businesses – like BT – who are transforming lives through technology innovation."

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