In August, we had the world famous 24hr Le Mans endurance race. This year, we were inspired by a truly remarkable team led by French businessman Frédéric Sausset, a quadruple amputee. Two of Sausset’s drivers – Japanese Takuma Aoki and Belgian Nigel Bailly – were paraplegic.
Finishing this gruelling event is, by itself, a huge achievement, which makes the achievements of Sausset and his team even more remarkable. Innovation in the design of their car enabled each of the unique physical capabilities of the team members to be used to ensure their safety and effective operation of the car.
This is an incredible reminder of two things. Firstly, that many of those in the world that are disabled are not necessarily born disabled. Disability can happen to any of us, without warning. Secondly, with the right mindset and support, our dreams can become a reality even with significant obstacles.
We can use these challenges as creative levers to come together to achieve great things for everyone.
Many of the innovations that have been made for those less able are, in many instances, a great benefit for society as a whole, so consider today what difference can be achieved with technology and the willpower and passion to succeed.
When you know that more than one billion people, 15% of the world population, live with a disability, you realise this should be at the front of every single inclusion agenda.
According to the International Paralympic Committee, 85% of disabled people around the world live in poverty, about 50% are unemployed and 75% of countries have no laws protecting them.
We need to adapt our vision for inclusion to include the incredible talent that is often left untapped. In many cases, disabled people are hindered from making a positive contribution to societies by the design of work and living spaces and of the technology available to them.
An inclusive culture should be one that embraces everyone to reach their full potential and make the world a more accessible place.
As the Paralympic Games kick off on August 24th, a new movement has begun. Spearheaded by the IPC and International Disability Alliance (IDA), WeThe15 wants to improve inclusion, raise awareness and end discrimination of disabled people around the world.
Use your knowledge of technology to make a difference. Innovate new solutions that include those that may currently feel excluded and promote technology that is more inclusive.
Microsoft has a useful online resource regarding solutions for accessibility. Several of its products, including Microsoft Teams, and XBOX promote accessibility. A tool I recently discovered – which has already become a personal favourite – is Otter.ai. It’s immensely useful for dyslexics, like myself. It allows you to transcribe, in real time, meetings and audio conversations.
Join in the conversation with IAMCP and share your ideas and tools that are making a difference to accessibility.
Carlene Jackson, IAMCP UK D&I Lead
CEO of Cloud9 Insight, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Gold Partner