Government to recruit 'disability champion' for tech sector
The UK government has this morning revealed it will be recruiting a new technology disability champion.
The champion will use their influential status as a leader in the tech industry to raise awareness of the need for compatibility of mainstream products with assistive technology.
The announcement was made to coincide with International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD 2018).
Minister for Disabled People Health and Work Sarah Newton said the assistive tech sector contributes £85 million to Britain's economy but mainstream businesses are still missing out by failing to design technology with the needs of disabled people in mind.
"I want tech companies to be a force good, ensuring inclusion is a fundamental component of the design process so that disabled people can benefit from the latest innovations," she said.
The new champion will join the existing 14 champions who are already driving improvements to the accessibility of services and facilities in a range of sectors, including banking, music and tourism.
The government is also looking for a product design champion to work with manufacturers and designers to improve accessibility.
The existing champions have already made significant progress in breaking down the barriers faced by disabled consumers. Johnny Timpson is the disability champion for the insurance industry and industry affairs manager at Scottish Widows.
Timpson is bringing together representatives from the insurance industry, regulatory bodies and charities for the first time to look at how to make the industry more transparent and inclusive.
"Walking the talk on diversity is essential for the insurance sector, and my champion role enables me to work with the industry to improve access to affordable insurance for disabled consumers," he said.
"Becoming a champion has allowed me to bring key players to the table to agree on a clear set of actions for making the insurance industry more inclusive."