Enhanced ‘consumer’ involvement is gaining currency both on a business and political level. More and more companies and service providers involve the end-user in the initiation, development and delivery of their products, while governments and organisations are increasingly looking to users to help set standards and monitor progress.
Users who have personal experience of accessing digital content are ‘experts by experience’. People with disabilities are no exception: they have first-hand familiarity with adaptive strategies and assistive technologies and, as such, can have a direct impact in enhancing the quality of digital products and services. Accessibility use cases can help designers and developers to identify specific barriers which compromise the overall usability of their interfaces. Such user involvement increases the accountability of both public and private organisations and can prove instrumental in promoting political and social change.
While considerable progress has been made in user-led design, there is still some way to go in renewing the human side of e-Accessibility. Expert-providers and disabled users need to work together to give a louder and collective voice to e-Accessibility.