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Smoothing access for visitors to major sports events
Designers of new technological systems for major sports events will come under the spotlight at a seminar which will highlight accessibility, especially for disabled and older people. The seminar, "Designs on the Games", on Tuesday, October 7, is sponsored by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and will be held at its headquarters in Savoy Place, London.
The IET said it was extremely pleased to support PhoneAbility, the British focal point for telecommunications vis-a-vis the needs of disabled and older people, who initiated the seminar, and use the extensive knowledge base of the IET to consider how technology can smooth the path for visitors to major sports events such as the 2009 ICC World Twenty20, 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
The event is based on a background report by Dr John Gill, Chief Scientist of the RNIB, which calls upon Government departments, standard-setting organisations, commercial companies and user bodies to help make life easier for people with disabilities, by employing a range of the latest technologies from radio frequency identification devices to biometric systems. The report makes special mention of easing the path for people attending the 2012 Games, whether affected by mobility, visual, dexterity, speech or hearing impairments, although the lessons apply across a whole range of events. The point was also made that in most cases improving such systems also benefited non-disabled visitors.
Dr Gill said that if accessibility was designed into technological systems at the very outset it may cost a little extra but it would likely be of benefit to all users. "There are important elements which manufacturers should keep in mind", said Dr Gill. "If accessibility measures have to be retrofitted it really can be an expensive business. But those manufacturers who have taken into account the needs of disabled and older people from the start of the process are more likely to win the contracts. Companies who wish to be in pole position for such work need to remember that good design of systems benefits all visitors to such events".
Who should attend the seminar? Specifiers, designers, purchasers and installers of new systems as well as disabled consumers and organisations concerned with accessibility. The Government Department, BERR [the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform], has given its support by a financial grant to PhoneAbility. To register for a place (free) at the seminar go to www.tiresias.org/phoneability/games.
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