At Scope, we believe no disabled person should be excluded from using technology. Through our own digital transformation, we are breaking down the barriers disabled people face every day in using digital products and services.
The Big Hack is Scope’s flagship programme in the digital space. Our vision is a world where disabled people have equal access to technology, and the immense value it adds to our day-to-day lives.
We want to share our knowledge and build momentum around the importance of inclusive design for all organisations. Not only to be one step closer to ending disability inequality, but to demonstrate the business potential that is locking them out from growth.
A focus on artificial intelligence (AI)
Our quarterly meet-up events are an opportunity to create and nurture a network of influencers and a community of change makers around inclusive design.
Last week, we held an event which brought together leaders in technology to discuss the potential of AI in creating a future free of barriers for disabled people.
By designing inclusively, we will be able to break down the barriers that disabled people face in accessing technology and where disabled people will not be excluded from the benefits that technology offers.
It could be helpful in many different ways. For example, booking a cinema ticket online. It should be simple, however, if you have specific access needs it isn’t. You might need to phone up and give them the access needs, which they will then accommodate. But what if you are hearing impaired or deaf? The phone is not an option.
This is something that we can address. In the future, in a voice assisted world, we can say, “Alexa, book the cinema tickets for tonight”, but this will only work if companies think inclusively when designing their technology in the first place.
Is AI inclusive?
There are many challenges around technology, but the biggest one that is often overlooked is the fact that technical systems are still a part of the social environment. This can mean that the barriers and issues disabled people face in society are often replicated in technology if inclusivity wasn’t considered in the design stages.
These systems also learn from the users overtime. If these systems are not designed inclusively, then the AI is learning from a user base that is not representative of society. Disabled people become an invisible consumer group, so they are not catered to in future product development.
This is why inclusivity from the outset is so important. By designing inclusively and breaking down barriers, corporates leading on technologies will learn that there is a different consumer group that needs to be listened to. We want AI to be inclusive of everyone. Once it is, it will learn from its users and will evolve in response to that to meet its users’ needs in a fair way.
The Big Hack is a collaborative movement
Together we will disrupt the technology world, putting disabled people at the heart of innovation.
Interested to hear more about the Big Hack, follow Scope’s digital influencing work, and keep informed on events, connections and other exciting ways in which you can get involved? Please sign up to join our collaborators network and join us on our mission to pioneer a better future for disabled people through technology.