03 Jul 2022

IA Labs aims to improve digital accessibility

IA Labs  aims to improve digital accessibility

At the launch of NCBI’s IA Labs: Kyran O’Mahoney, Chief Technology Officer with the National Council for the Blind of Ireland, Minister Anne Rabbitte and Joe Lonergan, Callan, IT trainer with IA Labs

A new company is working to ensure digital accessibility for people with different abilities in Ireland.
The National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI) officially launched IA Labs in April with the help of Minister Anne Rabbitte.

There to take part in the launch was Callan man and IT trainer with the NCBI, Joe Lonergan.

This pioneering spin out company of NCBI has digital accessibility at its core – monitoring, educating and championing companies to make their websites and mobile platforms entirely accessible to people with disabilities.
One in eight adults in Ireland has some type of disability and that number will continue to grow because of our aging population.

The Digital Accessibility Index was also launched on the same day. This index set out information on the accessibilty of websites.
Of 350 websites reviewed by NCBI they found that only 38% were digitally accessible.

We have entered an age of a professionalised internet with high expectations for accessible websites and mobile applications. Many people rely on the internet for critical, day-to-day activities.
If a person cannot access the content of a webpage because they can not use a mouse to hover and click on the link, that page is inaccessible.

Digital accessibilty offers people with disabilities the opportunity of equal access to employment , online education, online healthcare, remote work, ecommerce, digital leisure and entertainment.
IA Labs is a small but very effective team under the leadership of Kyran O’Mahoney and some cross over with NCBI Labs team including Sean Doran and Adela Buliman.
Their staff specialise in auditing websites, mobile apps and digital documents and provide useful feedback for improvements.

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