Building excitement and building accessibility know-how for TechShare Pro: future proofing future tech

By Paul Smyth, Head of Digital Accessibility, Barclays

Photo of Paul Smyth, smiling facing the cameraWith under a month to go until TechShare Pro on Thursday 29th November, I’m getting really excited to learn more about tomorrow’s technology and the future for accessibility and inclusive design.

TechShare Pro is the UK's largest accessibility and inclusive design event, organised by AbilityNet and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

This year's theme is how we embed accessibility and inclusion in every digital project and I can’t wait to hear the latest from tech giants on their new gadgetry that re-defines what’s possible in empowering all users.

I’m also very keen to hear from people with disabilities sharing their perspective on how tech, designed for difference, is helping level the playing field.

There’s been a huge amount of change and challenge over 2018 since the last TechShare Pro.

And I’m personally proud that Barclays is hosting and supporting this year’s bigger, bolder and brighter event at Barclays HQ, Canary Wharf, London.

It fits nicely with one of our ambitions to burst the accessibility bubble and boost the reach and impact of accessible design to more people and tech organisations than ever before. 

In 2018, we’ve seen new legislation demanding accessibility, more consumers expecting accessibility and more organisations desiring it too. 

In short, more organisations are waking up to the multitude of benefits that an inclusive design mind-set brings and it’s never been a better time to get informed and involved.   

Many attendees will be keen to hear about the new built-in accessibility features within smartphones and smart speakers.

Or perhaps what’s coming with AI and robotics offering independent living or the freedom of self-driving cars.

For Barclays, we’ll be sharing some updates on our accessible bank services and how we embed accessibility at scale – think self-driving bank accounts!

We see a number of approaches to incorporating accessibility within an organisation and will be sharing some of the things we have learned, practical pointers and new resources from our journey to date.

This all helps to not only ‘mainstream’ accessibility settings into shiny new devices, but to democratise and mainstream accessibility know-how into the tech organisations building the shiny devices of tomorrow.

The future of accessibility and how it shapes people’s lives in tomorrow’s world is hugely exciting.

I look forward to exploring this with you at TechShare Pro 2018.

Visit the TechShare Pro website for more information, and book your tickets now before they sell-out.

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