Artificial intelligence adds convenience to our professional and daily lives—but for 1.3 billion people with disabilities, the technology has the potential to radically improve assistive technologies.
Making experiences accessible for those with disabilities has long been treated as an afterthought. Global Accessibility Awareness Day, which I co-founded in May 2012, marks a moment every year that encourages us to bring accessibility to the fore, ensuring the products and digital experiences we create are inclusive to everyone. For the marketing and advertising community, we have a one-of-a-kind opportunity to lead the change, pushing clients, partners and the industry as a whole to place focus and resources on enhancing digital experiences for everyone as AI technology evolves.
What can some of the most incredible innovations in AI tell us about building more accessible experiences? Before understanding that, we need to carefully consider what ability is.
We take in sensory information through a variety of senses including our eyes, ears and nose. But the way we perceive, understand and interact with the world varies from person to person. Some may experience color blindness, neurodivergence, deafness … the list goes on. There are also different ways of venturing out into the world—such as in wheelchairs, walking with a cane or speaking with stroke-induced aphasia.