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Abertay expert tackles computer accessibility for disabled users

24 September 2013


Software developers have no excuse for designing computer programmes that are not easily usable by elderly and disabled people, according to an expert from Abertay University.

Allan, who is himself blind, is a software engineer and is a member of an inter-disciplinary team within Abertay that is part of the iAge European Union multinational project on e-inclusion for an ageing Europe.

He presented his research to improve universal access to computing at the recent Stumbling Block conference in Belgium.

Allan Milne said: “This is part of my work with the iAge project and also resonates with my role in evangelising the need for accessibly usable products and services in all areas, but with my particular focus on IT provision through websites and mobile apps.

“I believe there is no reason for inaccessible software other than ignorance or laziness on the side of developers and that they are missing out on bottom-line business performance, as well as exposing themselves to moral and legal challenges.

“I welcome this opportunity to present the idea of accessible usability along with some signposts as to how this can be achieved, particularly in the context of the Stumbling Block event which is exposing challenges in the wider area of disability access in health, governance, community and wellbeing.”

Stumbling Block is a conference, exhibition and demonstration event held in Kortrijk, Belgium addressing IT challenges faced by older and disabled users.

It brings together consumers, deliverers and developers to reduce the distance between end-users and creators of IT solutions, focusing on the requirements of the end-users.

Allan’s talk addressed the requirements of usability and accessibility in the delivery of products and services, focusing on the need for joined-up thinking to provide an accessibly usable interface to older and disabled end-users of websites and mobile devices.


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