Accessibility as a service

Accessibility Engineering: Bridging the Disability Divide through Technology

Bharath Kumar Gowda | May 15, 2017
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In a world that is rapidly evolving, the needs of people living here are also undergoing changes.

According to Wikipedia, “Accessibility refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people who experience disabilities.”

The digital era has led to many advances in technology—from the service line to the product line.

Accessibility for the disabled enables millions of people around the world lead a normal lifestyle

Organizations are making their products available to maximum users, government, and local communities while also making sure that they are on the right path. To ensure equality among all sections of people, several laws and regulations have come into action. According to a study, millions of people live with some form of disability. Disability can be temporary, permanent, partial, complete or situational. Hearing loss, vision loss or loss of mobility are some forms of disability.

However, without giving a thought to the disability, we are hastily moving affront to the available market.

Product and services are being widely used by children and senior citizens. Therefore, accessibility should be made available to everyone in order to make the products or services successful.

We stand at a financial standpoint where it is important to consider offering accessibility services or products to people with disabilities.

The accessible products are called ‘handicap accessible’.

Every application needs to be handicap accessible, irrespective of it being a mobile or web-based solution

Handicap accessibility has gained popularity across areas, from a single page to the most complex banking portals or even social networking sites. To action this, companies are working hard to arrive at the best possible solution which can help people with disabilities access information. There is immense scope for improvement with advanced technologies and cognitive processing tools arriving soon.

Presently, HCL Engineering and R&D Services team is involved in making their products and services accessible. HCL started out with a small accessibility team of five, with the intention of learning how to make products accessible to all. Currently, the accessibility team has expanded exponentially, with hundreds and thousands of people applying their thoughts to enhance the accessibility services offering. We are providing end-to-end accessibility engineering services spanning design consulting, testing, and remediation to trading services. We have invested in a state of the art Accessibility Lab, which has garnered immense appreciation from business leaders across the globe. The facilities are provided by people working in multiple projects. The accessibility engineering team plays a crucial role in usability studies – testing the product or service delivery to ensure high quality and usability.

HCL has entered into partnerships with a number of NGOs working towards this objective. The accessibility team is hugely invested in providing best-in-class products, thereby reinforcing its credibility and loyalty in making the products accessible.

To show my immense appreciation for the hard work that HCL has put in, I would like to dedicate a quote.

ISV appreciated HCL by stating “I wanted to send out a thank you note to all of you for having been so cooperative with us. We are on a time crunch due to our shipping date approaching soon and I really appreciate that you accommodated both our iOS and Android experiences into your schedule (I know you had to move things around for that, plus work on weekends). Your team was also very quick in responding and following up daily with the bugs, on our request.”

Note: This blog was originally posted at HCL Blog page https://www.hcltech.com/blogs/accessibility-engineering-bridging-disability-divide-through-technology.

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