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Lady Bracknell's Editor | 15:16 UK time, Saturday, 28 July 2007

A miscellany of links of interest largely – but by no means solely – to readers who have visual impairments.

Firstly, did you know that there is a high prevalence of undetected sight problems amongst people who are learning disabled? The Look Up information service - a collaboration between SeeAbility and the RNIB – is designed to raise awareness of this problem and to improve access to sight care for adults with learning difficulties. Visit their website to learn more about how they plan to accomplish their aims.

If you’re an undergraduate (or, indeed, a graduate) and you are blind or visually-impaired, Blind In Business might be able to help you find the sort of job after which you are hankering . They also provide training in technology and career-planning for 14-18 year olds . Blind In Business is a charity, so its services are free. It looks rather as though all it takes to persuade them to come and visit your school is a firm promise of tea and biscuits.

One of the major requirements for anyone who is visually-impaired is, of course, accessible IT. And the same can be said for people with a wide variety of other impairments. If you’re looking for technological solutions to the barriers you experience with regards to information society, but you wouldn’t know where to start, it might be worth considering a trip to London on the 4th or 5th of October for Techshare Expo 2007 at the Novotel London West. As the website says,

“From the internet to PCs, video games, digital TV, mobile phones, online banking - technology is making a difference to everyone's lives in work, education and play, but it needs to be accessible by everyone.”

There’s no cost to attend (er, apart from actually getting there, of course), and you can register as a visitor online .


It’s one thing to know what you need to make your home IT accessible, though, and another thing entirely to get exactly what you need IT-wise for work. (I could relate anecdotes to you which would make your hair stand on end, but it would be a funny way to hand in my notice, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. In any event, I’m sure a lot of you will have similar anecdotes of your own.)

But hope is on the horizon. The Information Technologists’ Company have very recently published a free-to-download, comprehensive, 36-page booklet snappily-entitled, “The IT Directors’ Guide to Accessible IT”. (There’s a link to the download in the first paragraph on this page.)

I startled my colleagues in the office by cheering when I read,

“There is no better way of keeping your department up-to-speed on accessible IT than staffing it with disabled people”.

Well, quite. Well worth saving a copy and emailing it post haste to the appropriate people in whatever organization you work for.

• Visit The Perorations of Lady Bracknell


Comments

I think any organization can benefit from having more disabled workers. What better way of ensuring that the accessibility needs of disabled consumers or a disabled public are front and center in product development than having people in your office who need to confront the same set of challenges, and need the same accommodations?

Of course, as a Deaf person, I am just a tad biased here. :-)

[Side note: I used to sign myself in these comments as author of the reunifygally.wordpress.com blog. I still plan to maintain that one, albeit sporadically, but now have a new blog on disabled people in developing countries at http://wecando.wordpress.com]

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