First results of the 1st survey of the eAccessibility2020 study are available. The detailed analysis will be available in early September.
Basic statistics (as of 27/07/11):
The mean age of the respondents is 44 (ranging from 25 to 86 years old) with 73% of them being men and 27% being women. 18% of the respondents fall under the category of either having a disability or being a carer of a disabled person or being above 65. Finally 14% of the responses came from countries outside the EU.
Concerning the ‘User Needs’ respondents consider that practically all aspects of life of older people and people with disabilities will require new eAccessibility solutions by 2020. Health (Health: access to medical ICT devices & Health: access to e-health information services) and employment (Employment: e-work applications of tomorrow) appear at the top of the list.
In the same area of ‘User Needs’, respondents rate as more important for new eAccessibility solutions in 2020 the: cognitive disabilities and the multiple disabilities. These two types of disability are ranked first in the list that covers also visual, hearing, speech, mobility and psychological disabilities.
From a technological perspective and according to the survey results, 4 novel ICT solutions have been highlighted among a list of 18 as the most promising for the development of new eAccessibility solutions in 2020:
- New Human Computer Interaction (HCI) Interfaces and Platforms
- Motion and Gesture-recognition Systems
- Ambient Intelligence (e.g. appliances and devices embedded in the home environment, that are context aware i.e. recognise the user and also personalized or even anticipatory)
- Language Technologies (Natural Language Processing)
Respondents recognise that there is evidence of future societal, technology and/or market trends affecting (directly or indirectly) the development of e-accessibility solutions. The following 3 trends reach the top:
- Societal trend: Growing number of older people living alone
- ICT trend: Multi-purpose interaction devices (e.g. smart phones and terminals)
- Market trend: Mainstreaming of accessibility in ICT products and services
Finally, in the question ‘How important do you judge each of the following initiatives / actions for the future mainstreaming of e-Accessibility solutions?’ surprisingly responses bring ‘Enhancing awareness on eAccessibility requirements among IT developers/ companies’ on the top, leaving below other important initiatives such as: stricter policy enforcement, research at EU level or networking among relevant actors.