5th European eAccessibility Forum
Benefits and costs of e-accessibility

28/03/2011, 9:00 - 18:00
Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie - 30 Avenue Corentin Cariou 75019 - Paris, France

 
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Developing accesssible components for mainstream products : the exemple of mobile phones

Caroline Ragot (Barcelona)
Code Factory
caroline.ragot (at) codefactory.es

Speaker's information


Photo Caroline Ragot

Caroline is Code Factory’s Managing Director, she is responsible for the overall management and strategy of the company. She seconds CEO Eduard Sánchez for all important matters of the firm.

Code Factory, a Spanish company based in Barcelona (Spain), is the leading provider of screen readers, screen magnifiers, and Braille interfaces for the widest range of mainstream mobile devices. Its mission is to break down mobile technology accessibility barriers for the blind and visually impaired. Its accessible solutions are used in more than 50 countries and 30 languages. Among Code Factory's customers are well known organizations for the blind such as ONCE in Spain, Handicap Zéro in France, and carriers such as AT&T, Bouygues Telecom, Cosmote, SFR, TIM and Vodafone.

Caroline joined Code Factory in February 2007 and first started as Marketing Director. Caroline, who is French, graduated from the French Business School of Rennes (ESC) and from the University of Barcelona where she obtained a Master's degree in International Marketing and Management. Before joining Code Factory, she worked in Paris and Barcelona as a freelance consultant in cultural marketing.

Caroline has participated in many international events for the blind as an expert in mobile technology accessibility.

 

Summary


Warning : The short papers of this conference have been prepared by BrailleNet who accept any responsibility for them. But presentation materials provided for download (full-papers or slides) have been provided by the authors themselves.

Developing accessible solutions for cell phones: at what cost and for which benefits? This question must be considered within the economic ecosystem of ICT. As such, the economic development of Code Factory, a firm specialized in accessible solutions for cell phones, must be understood within this ecosystem and the specific parameters that define it.

First, few cell phones manufacturers implement natively accessibility. Even if this solution would have been the cheapest, it is rarely implemented for several reasons: a lack of expertise from the manufacturers, constraining technical requirements (possibly) limiting their creativity and too long manufacturing lead time. But manufacturers involvement in accessibility implementation after the manufacturing process (or even after the product commercialization) is not without cost neither : it implies long and heavy processing due to the size of the firms. For example, Apple and RIM which, respectively, developed VoiceOver for iPhone and Oratio for Blackberry, faced considerable costs to make their products accessible.

These two limitations inherent to cell phones accessibility offer a possibility for third party firm to develop themselves (a "niche"). This is the case for CodeFactory.

Considering pragmatically cell phones ecosystem logics allows to determine the price of accessibility implementation. It is not enough to assess technical costs and human investments.  In this view, it is justified to evaluate accessibility implementation of a cell phone at 225 euros, Code Factory’s price for Mobile Speak implementation; or, to state that for an investment of 1 million euros a year, 40 000 blind people can use a cell phone.

The cost changes depending on the ecosystem evolution. New policies, changes in manufacturers investments and appearance of new partners or competitors in the field affect directly accessibility cost and benefits.

See Appendix 2

Documents



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