On Thursday 21st May, Team Insight was invited to Atos and BBC’s Global Accessibility Awareness Day event at the Atos London head office.
Celebrating it’s third year, Global Accessibility Awareness Day is an international event which aims to get people thinking and learning about digital accessibility alongside the various disabilities that users struggle with.
Atos and BBC brought together representatives from many different organisations, including Microsoft, AbilityNet and Sony. Each had the opportunity to showcase different technology they have created in order to make the world a more accessible place.
Team Insight was invited to be part of the day as an effort to give people a greater understanding of one of the disabilities that make creating accessible technology so important, visual impairment.
As with all of our events, we wanted to give everyone a small taster of what it’s like to be blind, so we created a small obstacle course which participants attempted in pairs; one person in the pair wore a blindfold and the other gave instructions. The aim of the activity was for the sighted participant to instruct their blindfolded partner to find a small object at the end of the course in the fastest time possible and each obstacle they touched resulted in a one second penalty. The fastest time achieved by a pair when combining their times in each role was 1.03 minutes. It was very interesting to see how different people approached the activity; some decided on tactics beforehand, discussing what size steps to take, while others just chose to go for it and see what happens. Generally the consensus was that it was a lot tougher than it appeared, with many struggling with balance, spatial awareness and clear communication.
In addition to the activity, we encouraged everyone to try on our simulation spectacles which give the effect of having different visual impairments, so the participants could gain an understanding of different levels of sight loss.
Everyone embraced the activity and were amazed by the sensation of having their sense of sight taken away by both the blindfolds and the simulation spectacles.
Neil Milliken, Head of Accessibility & Digital Inclusion for Atos said “We really valued the extra dimension that Team Insight added to our Global Accessibility Awareness Day event. Giving people the opportunity to get hands on experience is very valuable and we had feedback from participants that confirmed this”