Guidelines issued to bring IT to disabled


Websites, ATMs, mobile phones are often inaccessible to those with disabilities. Guidelines were issued yesterday to help develop information technology that can be used by everybody.

The guidelines were announced by the National Disability Authority (NDA) to help developers of technology identify barriers which deny access to people with disabilities.

The chairwoman of the NDA, Ms Angela Kerins, said: "People hardly even think about the role of technology in everyday living any more. We work on computers. We withdraw money from machines. These electronically delivered services, developed to make information more accessible, are unfortunately, often inaccessible for people with disabilities."

With special modifications and minor additions at the design stage of technology those services could become easy to use for people with disabilities, she said.

The guidelines, outlining barriers and solutions, are available at

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr McDowell, attended a conference in Dublin Castle to encourage implementation of the Barcelona Declaration to assist people with disabilities.

He said the project marked a giant step towards a more inclusive society. "Irish society can become a role model for the EU to set standards for the treatment of those with disabilities."