With a month or so to go until ATEC London 2017, I’m incredibly proud that Barclays can continue to play a part by sponsoring, speaking and exhibiting at this year’s much anticipated event.
As the power and potential of assistive tech to change lives becomes clear though, we need more engagement by more businesses in order to truly take accessibility into the mainstream and realise these benefits.
A focus of ATEC London 2017 is shining a light not just on what assistive tech does but on the impact it’s having on people’s lives, in terms of removing barriers, expanding possibilities and unlocking human potential in both the school and the workplace.
Accessibility is key for Barclays
At Barclays, accessibility is something we’re serious and committed to. We’re working hard to engage colleagues, educate suppliers, shift attitudes and raise the profile of accessibility beyond the bank.
Accessibility means making sure that all people can use our products or services or be employed by us, regardless of their abilities, situation or circumstances. We have a publicly stated ambition to become the most accessible and inclusive FTSE100 company.
As a leader within accessibility, I see on a daily basis how technology is making lives easier for most of us but for some people (disabled or older people for instance), technology is making things possible.
For example, talking ATM’s remove barriers and give back independence to customers with visual impairments.
I also recognise as a technologist that accessibility has historically had a negative, bureaucratically burdensome perception by project teams.
At Barclays, as our accessibility agenda has matured so too has our thinking – accessibility is both a legal obligation and commercial opportunity. We need to shift our thinking beyond compliance.
Embracing inclusive design for digital accessibility
When we lean in and embrace accessibility and inclusive design, we build a great experience for a greater number of people.
It ensures that we provide positive experiences and we don’t exclude anyone from our digital services.
It’s important that we recognise that our customers and colleagues have a wide range of abilities, needs and preferences. Plus our ability within technology to design for difference and deliver digital services that work for all has to be at the centre of how we operate.
When we get this right and build the right working environment and tools, we not only improve customer experience but our colleagues become more diverse, engaged, creative and productive as a consequence.
And when we actively listen to the access needs of all our customers, we find innovation from the edges. We build empathy in our digital teams and close the gap between those building digital services and our customers using them.
Showcasing Barclays’ new accessibility solutions at ATEC London 2017
I’m looking forward to sharing some examples of new innovative solutions to make banking more accessible at our seminar at ATEC London 2017.
These solutions include everything from contactless cash machines to new inclusively designed security tokens for online banking
It’s important for us all to think about how accessibility allows us to think differently about the challenges we face and the opportunities it presents.
It’s also important that those involved in making, training, assessing or using assistive tech solutions participate and collaborate in the broader eco-system.
Events like ATEC London 2017 help us come together to connect, collaborate, share ideas, innovate and ‘professionalise the accessibility profession’.
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