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.

Results:

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.