Minnie speaks to RNZ about how access citizens are being shut out of the digital revolution.
Listen here to the Radio New Zealand news report from 17 July which features a segment on accessibility of digital services for people with access needs (from 1:27).
You can also read the transcript of the excerpt below:
Host: "Accessibility advocates are worried the speed at which companies are going digital will shut out a large market which could be worth up to $12 billion. Minnie Baragwanath from Be. Lab says the lockdown forces companies and services to go online, exacerbating the digital divide for those with access needs, like sight or hearing disorders.
The pandemic has accelerated digital services with many companies moving fully or partly online and some closing their physical stores. Ms Baragwanath says companies should be designing their services to accommodate those with access needs like making sure their website is compatible with screen readers or audio tools.
And she says as well as it being a human right it also makes economic sense - because if people can't access your product, they can't buy it."
Minnie: "So the default is not benign; the default setting when we don't intentionally build access in is actually inaccessible for a lot of people. And through that process of really working out what's needed to ensure there isn't a greater digital divide then there already is, is we could also spearhead a new industry to support the 1-2 billion people worldwide who have access needs."