Engaging with disabled people critical before disaster strikes

Recent events show that working with disabled people before disaster strikes can prevent trauma, suffering and even save lives. Disabled people don't have the same choices as others when interacting with their communities, local government and emergency services. Find out how to constructively engage with disabled people.

Real world testing rules!

Real word testing got the seal of approval from accessibility expert Glenda Sims at Webstock recently. She said that none of the automatic and other web accessibility testing tools available would fully indicate accessibility without the experience of a real person with a disability.

Read more on why simulating real world experience isn't a complete solution, nor isusing a person (or people) with disability from your organisation.

She made the point that the open (accessible) web is for everyone on everything, where everyone can use the same information and perform the same functions. She said that accessibility makes us smarter.

While the primary focus of her presentation was on automated testing tools, and she described and listed many of them, identifying their value in the accessibility planning and testing process, she emphasised what she called “hands on,” and what we call “real world” testing as the final test.

Changing demographics change service and information

Changing demographics indicates a need for changes to services and information as the population ages and the incidence of disability increases.

The latest Demographic Trends 2010 from statistics New Zealand predicts significant changes in our population.

“People over 65 are 13 percent of the population, at 30 June 2010.

The age structure of the population will continue to undergo gradual but significant changes, resulting in more older people and further ageing of the population.

Half of New Zealand’s population will be aged 43 years and older by 2061, compared with a median age of 37 years in 2009.

The population aged 65 years and over (65+) will surpass one million by the late 2020s, compared with 550,000 in 2009.

Half the New Zealand labour force will be older than 42 years in 2011, compared with a median age of 40 years in 2006 and 36 years in 1991.”

How well this ageing and increasingly disabled population is served depends on the ability of organisations to respond to their service and information needs.

AccEase specialises in this growing under-served market. contact us to find out what you need to know and do and how we can help.