19 July 2021
The pace at which an industry becomes ‘digitised’ can vary, with key dependencies being the feasibility to automate constituent businesses and/or human functions, the availability of capital to do so and general consumer appetite for meaningful change.
One area that has been slow to embark on a digital transformation is that developing the apparatus and services to support those living with a disability. Though physical products supporting people with unique needs have innovated and evolved, assistive technology has traditionally lacked the capability and functionality needed to have a significant impact on their lives and the lives of those around them.
Fortunately, the industry is undergoing a revolution as technology startups and larger, already-established companies place inclusive technology at the forefront of their business plans and product pipelines, a development discussed at the 2021 Macquarie Technology Summit.
During the 2021 Macquarie Technology Summit, Jeff Orlowsky, a senior event marketing manager within Macquarie’s Corporate Affairs team, sat down with Jenny Lay-Flurrie to learn more about Microsoft’s recent five-year pledge to closing the disability divide, how to be an advocate for your own needs and the alignment between Macquarie’s and Microsoft’s usage in accessible communication environments like Teams and PowerPoint.
Download and listen to the podcast episode below:
The opportunities within the disability sector are not only sizable from an investment point of view but arguably more-so from a cultural and societal perspective. As digital societies are established online, a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity exists to ensure those ecosystems reflect those ‘offline’ and include everyone.
The internet was founded on principles of equality, transparency and access, and as arguments around net-neutrality continue to come into the limelight, the same can be said about designing technologies for a majority audience and the need to bring in more minority, niche audiences to that process. As large tech companies continue to weave accessibility through their product offerings and nimble startups pioneer innovative technology, the true potential of tech for people with disabilities will be unlocked and in turn, digital societies will flourish from their inclusion.
The Macquarie Technology Summit once again brought together global leaders driving technological change across multiple aspects of business and community.