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10th European e-Accessibility Forum
e-Accessibility in a connected world

30 May 2016, 9am-6pm
Cité des sciences et de l'industrie, Paris

 
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Changing the World - Strategies, Partnerships and Business Propositions for the IoT

Steve TYLER (UK)
RNIB
Steve.Tyler[at]rnib.org.uk

Speaker's information


photo Steve Tyler

Steve Tyler has worked in the sight loss sector for over twenty years commencing in the role of Transcription Manager in 1992 and progressing to his current role of Head of Solutions, Strategy and Planning. Steve has been successful in leading the strategy for new services and products for blind and partially sighted people globally. Through multi disciplinary teams and external partners, he has been directly involved in the creation of many life changing technology based products and is particularly motivated by leading and working with teams to achieve their goals. Some of his key achievements have been bringing about access to mobile devices, access to TV, creating partnerships that delivered the highest quality synthetic speech in the world, and delivering specialist products for blind and partially sighted people.

 

Summary


The Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) works hard to ensure that mainstream companies take accessibility into account. To do this it seeks to develop strategies for the future and ensure that solid partnerships are in place today.

Today, the connectivity revolution is no longer confined to the domain of computer technology. Domestic appliance manufacturers are producing connected objects such as washing machines and dish washers that are controllable by apps. Accessibility is no longer limited to discussions about synthetic speech and Braille but instead, for example, how people’s needs can be auto-detected using profiling systems so that the objects that populate their environment can adapt to their specific needs.

The RNIB has been working on connected objects for some time. The potential for improving the lives of disabled persons is such that it was essential to work with industry early on in order to set the scene for full accessibility. The repercussions of raising awareness and educating people that run the business side of things, and changing the way that organisations such as Microsoft, Google and Samsung think about accessibility, are enormous. If we can develop long term strategic alliances and business propositions that are sustainable and that make sense from a commercial perspective, then we have half a chance of ensuring sustainable accessibility.

The accessibility sector has genuine knowledge and expertise that it can bring to industry and to mainstream IoT development. It is important to value this knowledge through consultancy offerings and proofs of concepts on a very clear business to business contractual basis.

RNIB has worked with such companies as Amazon, Energy UK, Google and Samsung to ensure their solutions are accessible out of the box. Each partnership requires a different strategy for ensuring the sustainable take up of accessibility. But ultimately, working with us saves these companies money as accessible products appeal to a larger clientele as they serve all ranges and types of user needs.

The real driver is money and business benefits. But it is also important to work together to campaign for change through new regulation, legislation and standards. RNIB takes a partnership based approach to furthering its objectives in this area and welcomes opportunities to work with organisations across the sector.

Watch Steve Tyler's presentation on YouTube. For subtitles, please use the CC button, and if you require a transcript do not hesitate to contact us at contact[at]braillenet.org.

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