Communication is at the heart of BT's business. We are committed to helping people improve the way they communicate whether that be face-to-face, on the phone or via the internet. We believe that improving communication through technology is the key to providing greater access for all to education, jobs, entertainment and improving communication with friends and family.
BT is committed to enabling disabled people to communicate effectively with a long tradition of providing accessible products and technology. These range from the adaptation of switchboards, to assist servicemen blinded during the First World War, to the development of the first NHS hearing aid in 1951.
The aim of BT's Age & Disability (A&D) unit is to increase disabled peoples opportunities to communicate with the world around them. To achieve this the team regularly: consult with disabled people and their representatives, help BT Product Managers understand the value of inclusive design, ensure colleagues understand what the Disability Discrimination Act means to BT and provide practical day to day advice to people with disabilities and their representatives.
The past 15 years has seen many developments in phone design, like the BT Relate 3000 and text products which were developed in consultation with disabled groups. These have refined features such as, speech amplification, voice prompts and hands-free operation as well as the style of the product user guide, once again enabling older and disabled customers to take advantage of new technologies.
Over the past 12 months, BT's Age and Disability unit have focussed on raising awareness of the benefits of new technologies, such as broadband, in communities that could be disadvantaged by the digital divide, specifically older and disabled people including targeted information for the UK sign language community.
Our research suggests that 23 million adults might be digitally excluded by 2025 if more is not done to encourage their use of the Internet*. This becomes increasingly important as more services are provided online, resulting in people without access to this new technology finding themselves disadvantaged in day to day living. So the benefits of being digitally included are clear but it is not just about access to the technology but also about having the skills, confidence and motivation to use it.
With this in mind we have developed an on-line guide to broadband http://www.btplc.com/age_disability/technology/broadband/guide/index.htm which, provides our older and disabled customers and their representatives with the following: a step by step guide to understanding and ordering broadband, specific examples of how broadband may benefit people who are older or disabled, a number of easy options for ordering BT Broadband and a series of illustrated Case studies demonstrating how broadband is already enabling older and disabled people.
Although our on-line broadband guide followed the Plain English guidelines, we were aware that some British Sigh Language (BSL) users may be excluded from using it. As we believe Broadband has a great potential for people using a visual language, we've included BT's guide to broadband in BSL http://www.btplc.com/age_disability/bsl/welcome/welcome.htm
For more information about BT's Age and Disability work visit http://www.btplc.com/age_disability/index.htm
*(BT Digital Divide 2025, Dec 2004)
With over 30,000 employees in the UK alone, many of which have special needs, Ford Motor Company commits not only to ensure every effort is made for employees to stay in employment once they become disabled but also are positive about recruiting people with disabilities. This can involve rehabilitation at work, making adjustments to the equipment used for example keyboard, speech recognition software, Zoom image magnifiacation software and adapted telephone headsets.
Ford Motor Company's Disability Action Group (DAG) works towards making Ford Motor Company the lead in Corporate Citizenship and it's vision is to be recognized as the Employer of choice for people with disabilities and by those outside the Company. Within the Company, Ford promotes an inclusive culture where the work environment accommodates the many different needs.
Ford of Europe launched the Mobility 4 All initiative in 2003 with the primary goal to make our cars more useable for everyone who uses a Ford vehicle, driver or passenger, whatever one's individual degree of mobility. Mobility 4 All is a volunteer employee group (a sub group of DAG) formed to focus specifically on product design development for mobility needs. The group's efforts are in allegiance with MAGIC (Mobility and General Information Centre), Ford's free telephone service that provides mobility-related information to people with disabilities.
Approximately 5% of UK drivers are registered with Motability (a Government charity which provides subsidies to drivers needing mobility equipped vehicles) and it is through these customers that Ford encourages the design of vehicles to suit people of all types, ages and mobility ranges.
Jadu is the UK's leading developer of Web Content Management systems exclusively for Government. Our focus is on delivery of accessible, non-technical web based information systems such as websites, intranets and extranets as well as a broad portfolio of other e-Government products ranging from Planning and HR to Transactional systems for e-payments and online balance checking as well as integration into CRM to deliver a fully joined-up online experience for citizens.
Compliant: Jadu CMS is an enterprise web content management system designed from the ground up for UK Government web sites. It uses the eGIF as a basis to ensure full compliance with established and emerging government web standards and best practice. Jadu CMS provides 17 of 29 Required Priority Outcomes with a basic implementation. LGCL, IPSV and LGSL category lists are used fundamentally within the system to 'join-up' content - whist a strict adherence to eGMS standards ensure correctly labelled information throughout the CMS.
Affordable: The software is designed for and available to Local Authorities and designed specifically for devolved content management, with a low cost of ownership. Competitive pricing makes Jadu CMS a realistic and affordable option. The implementation fee includes accessible web site design, implementation, internal engagement, full training and support.
Integration: Jadu CMS is based around publishing through both content management and integration with key back office systems such as CRM, Document Management and other database driven information systems. The open nature of the software enables integration into leading back office systems using a variety of integration methods.
Accessible: Jadu Limited has made it company policy to design only to accepted web standards for usability and accessibility. Therefore, we aim for all our websites to meet WAI AA accessibility checkpoints. Accessibility is something non-technical content managers needn't worry about - since the accessible content features of Jadu are built in and seamless.
Partnership: Jadu is unique in that it has an open approach to development. Many of its current Local Authority developers are building their own integration and features - and these are shared throughout the community. Development as well as content are shared enabling a joined-up 'working-together' approach.
Proven: First developed in 1999, Jadu has users across all sectors, including and extensive Private Sector user base as well as Central Government agencies such as the Department of Trade and Industry. With currently 15 Local Authority partners, a dedicated developer network and a host of additional modules to make delivering eGovernment easier and more efficient.
Extensible: Jadu have a broad portfolio of products that the management of information, documents and content simple and non-technical. From Enterprise Document Management to website delivery and content management, Jadu has products that span across your organisation. The Jadu CMS itself has an open structure and is easily customised and developed for integration into other key back-office systems such as CRM.
Jadu also provide courses on design and development of Jadu systems so that your in-house resources can develop and extend the features and functionality of your Jadu systems.
AbilityNet are a national charity and the UK’s leading provider of advice on computing and disability. Every year they help thousands of people with a wide range of disabling or limiting conditions, to access and release the enabling power of computer technology, to enhance their lives.
Through its 9 national offices and regional partners AbilityNet provides a freephone advice and information line, individual assessments, individual and group training, consultancy and courses for professionals. They work in the business, education and public sector and have a range of services and products designed to match those sector’s needs.
They also provide web site and software accessibility audits as well as training for web developers to a wide range of public and private institutions. Working with the BBC they have developed the www.bbc.co.uk/accessibility site demonstrating built in accessibility solutions across operating systems.
AbilityNet’s independent, non-profit status enables them to evaluate and compare all available alternatives without bias. Their approach is practical and pragmatic, judging the value of an idea by its real suitability rather than its technical sophistication.
To find out more or for advice and information call freephone 0800 269545 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our accessible customer service team delivers a one-stop shop for disabled customers. We offer alternative media including, Braille, large print and audio. The sky magazine is available to download from www.sky.com/accessibility where you will also find contact details for our helpline.
Sky has also launched a remote control specifically designed to assist older customers, people with visual impairments and those with limited dexterity: the Sky+ Remote Control - Easy Grip.
It offers all of the familiar features of the iconic Sky+ remote in two variants with different battery door options - either a textured easy grip door or a hand strap option to assist customers with dexterity impediments.
ReadSpeaker is the leading European, voice-on-the-web solution. The service does not require a plugin and with its unique quality of voice, it is the first real solution for making a website talk. The aim is to make web-sites more accessible for people with learning disabilities, dyslexia, low vision and people who have English as their second language.
The company has recently launched ReadSpeaker Podcaster, which provides an automatic conversion of an RSS feed to a pod-casting feed with the help of advanced text-to-speech (TTS) technology.
Clients using the award-winning podcasting facility include International Herald Tribubune, WAZand and Financial Times (Deutschland).
RNIB's Web Access Team will be on hand to take questions, offer advice, and provide short consultancy sessions looking at websites of your choice.
RNIB's HI-tech Officers will be demonstrating accessible mobile phones, equipment for recording and navigating large amounts of audio material, and will demonstrate an instant PC Braille read-out device which costs around half the price of its predecessors.
RNIB's Media and Culture Department will be providing information about access to Digital Television, Cinema, DVD, Theatre and Museums. A demonstration of audio description will also available on our stand.
RNIB Helpline: 0845-766 9999
RNID is the largest charity representing the 9 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the UK. As a membership charity, we aim to achieve a radically better quality of life for deaf and hard of hearing people. We do this by campaigning and lobbying vigorously, by raising awareness of deafness and hearing loss, by providing services and through social, medical and technical research. RNID New Technologies is an award winning research and development team focussing on information and communication technology and the challenges to opportunity and fulfilment that deaf and hard of hearing citizens face in the Information Society.
The SignVideo Contact Centre, run by the social enterprise Significan't, provides immediate access to professional Sign Language interpreters via the videophone. Deaf Sign Language users are currently excluded from getting access to many routine activities unless they have made prior arrangements for an interpreter to be present. Using Cisco's platform technology, SignVideo is maximising the efficient use of interpreters avoiding wastage in travel time and last minute cancellations. For a short enquiry, a ten minute conversation, or an unplanned meeting, SignVideo has proved extremely useful in enabling local and health authorities to provide genuine and instant access.
The Open Source Project
The ICT Hub commissioned NCC to increase the awareness of Free and Open Source (FOSS) in the UK voluntary and community sector and to improve choice in the sector's ICT infrastructure. This new initiative called The Open Source Project will help local voluntary and community groups see the benefit of Free and Open Source technology and will help Open Source suppliers meet the sector's growing expectations.
The project informs people about FOSS, challenges myths and introduces it as an informed choice in enhancing use of ICT in the sector. We work with groups across England, attending events, nurturing Open Source software and demonstrating the scope and benefits of this technological alternative. We offer training for people who support ICT in the VCS (Voluntary and Community Sector) in using and supporting Open Source Solutions.
We can offer specialist FOSS help through the ICT Hub Help Desk. Contact them at 0800 652 4737. We are also working with OS projects and communities creating openings so they can increase their share of meeting the sector's needs. To recognise the existing exemplar work being undertaken already we administer a n award scheme. We have a key focus on Open Source Accessibility.
Our aim is to see FOSS support clearly signposted in key locations serving all regions, and many sub regions. These will be real and virtual places where VCS organisations go to get plain English support. They will also be a central focus for organisations (companies and volunteers) who can provide OS support to the VCS. We continue to look for regional OS projects working with FOSS. People and organisations which have contacts in the VCS and in the FOSS communities and in other sectors who want to work towards building up this support network. Again, if you have any views on this, please get in touch with us.
If you would like to contact us please email us on FOSS@ncc.co.uk
The Telephone Helplines Association (THA) is a membership organisation for non-profit helplines working in the fields of health, social welfare and education. THA supports the needs of around 500 member helplines across the UK, Ireland and internationally. We work to ensure ‘quality and confidence for callers to helplines’. THA holds information on over 1,500 helpline services.
THA services (available to members and non-members) include training, consultancy, support in setting up and developing helpline services, and the THA Quality Standard. Publications include Telephone Helplines: Guidelines for Good Practice and the Quality Standard Workbook.
Communis Ltd is a web accessibility consultancy with offices in Frome, Nottingham and London. Their key services include accessibility consultancy, specialist web accessibility research, technical and general accessibility training, and the design and production of award-winning, highly effective, accessible web sites. Communis provides their services to governmental bodies, national charities and major and minor corporate clients, and are pleased to be currently providing an invited expert on accessibility to the W3C, the worldwide web standards body based at MIT in America.
We are an online software and consulting company, bringing the power of online solutions to employers, public organisations and community groups. Our products include WebSpringer - a tool for building advanced, accessible websites, Online Surveyor - a tool for designing and undertaking online surveys and Space Auditor - an office space optimisation tool. We act as consultants and project managers in new ways of working, technology strategy, online solutions and website design. We also undertake research in these and related fields and publish Flexibility - the online journal of flexible working. HOP Associates can be contacted on 01223 264485 or www.hop.co.uk.
Ability magazine is a campaigning publication for people who have difficulty
using IT. It is aimed at those who buy, run and use accessible systems.
Each issue of Ability magazine provides vital insight into the products,
techniques and skills required to deliver systems for users who cannot use
standard software and hardware.
Originally published by the British Computer Society's Disability Group, Ability magazine circulates to users, IT managers, human resources professionals and those who work in the disability field.
Ability aims to keep readers up-to-date on trail blazing user projects, product releases, regulatory changes and company news. Its features section contains valuable case studies, discussions of technical issues, product reviews and analysis of the latest trends in accessibility.
Interested in Sponsoring or Exhibiting at e-Acess'06?
Please contact Claire Clinton on 01273 231291 or email Claire@headstar.com.