Dr. Mike Townsend, Hon. President of the British Computer Association of the Blind, Took part in the Vision 2020 landmark conference at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre London June 12.
Mike stated that technology is absolutely vital for blind and partially sighted people to engage in twenty first century life. The British Computer Association of the Blind has run a very successful series of “taster” days introducing over 1500 novices to the benefits of technology with 97 per cent of clients achieving all the tasks such as getting information, emailing, and reading print material all in one day.
Affordability is vital, but the EyeT4All programme confirms the importance of usability and inclusive design. Though research shows that 82 per cent of people loosing their sight state that technology is now impossible for them, it clearly is not.
BCAB’s work is mostly carried out in partnership with local voluntary societies for the blind. When surveys are carried out about what services people would like, help with technology comes top of the list. Technology is more than computers. It forms a part of most people’s daily lives. The next UK Vision strategy must take account of this. Instead of being an extra element, as in the current strategy, it must be woven throughout the entire set of themes.