AbilityNet expert on BBC Radio 4's In Touch technology special

I was invited to be interviewed as part of a technology special in this week’s BBC Radio 4’s In Touch consumer affairs programme for people with sight loss.

 Screenshot of webpage showing the In Touch website area, with man operating mouse and computer on desk

Play the In Touch episode

What to do about inaccessible websites

Listeners had contacted the programme about the inaccessibility of notable websites - including Milk and More and the Charity Commission - and we discussed some of the common issues experienced by disabled users online, the legal and business imperatives for inclusive design, plus whether we can ever escape the dreaded ‘I am not a robot’ checkboxes that often revert to those obscure image selections or garbled audio challenges.

I also mentioned how, in the Prime Minister’s response to a cross-party group on disability letter seeking assurances about digital exclusion during the Covid crisis, inaccessibility was alive and well. Let’s all make sure we fully embrace accessibility good practice and not just pay lip-service to it – at all levels.

Want to complain about an inaccessible website? Our free factsheet contains useful suggestions.

Access to books, radio stations and podcasts

Other topics covered in the technology special included a new skill for your Echo.

Called RealSAM, it provides a simple and intuitive audio interface for books, radio stations and podcasts - but beware, there is a fee and much of this material is already available free via other skills or built-in functionality.

The episode closes with a conversation about how those with sight loss might take advantage of the emerging area of AR (augmented reality). Seen as predominantly visual, you’ll need to take a listen to the show to see how AR might be adopted by those, like me, who rely less on their eyes than they do their ears. No spoilers.

Further resources