AI, remote control… Technology at the service of the disabled

How does the business world use – and could use technology to better include workers with disabilities? Decryption.

According to the WHO, approximately 15% of the world’s population, or approximately one billion people, live with a disability. People with disabilities are the largest minority in the world. But how does the business world use – and could use technology to include workers with disabilities even better in a society where work has precisely been digitized, or at least hybridized between physical office and telework?

AI and disability

One of the answers could be artificial intelligence: lip reading to assist hearing impairment, image and facial recognition for people with visual impairments, voice reading with Googleor text summaries such as Voiceitt for people to people with brain damage.

Whether in terms of color contrast or screen readers, technology has made it possible to considerably speed up the integration process for people with disabilities. According to the consulting firm Gartner, employment of people with disabilities will be doubled by 2023aided by the increased use of AI and emerging technologies.

In 2019, a team of psychology researchers from Linnaeus University in Sweden looked at the effects of assistive technology on students with severe reading problems. For 50% of respondents, these technologies have made it possible to find motivation in their studies.

Transposed in the world of work, accessibility tools, such as subtitles, allow the autonomy of disabled workers in their workplace. A fact that corroborates this report from the recruitment consulting firm Spencer Stuart, which reports that 77% of disabled workers surveyed say they are satisfied inclusion measures put in place by their employer since the start of the pandemic.

A market on an upward trajectory

According to the WHO, about 15% of the world’s population, or about one billion people, live with a disability. While it constitutes the largest minority in the world, the demand for new technologies for the adequate support of people with disabilities represents a flourishing market.

According to the annual report of the disability research company Return on Disability Group, 73% of consumers are affected by the sector, i.e. a disposable income of 1,900 billion dollars.

If you haven’t been convinced yet, these figures from the WHO might do the trick. Due to population growth, increased longevity, as well as advances in technology, the organization believes that the assistive technology market is expected to reach US$26 billion by 2024.

We understand: at the heart of this market, on the one hand, companies seeking to maximize their performance through inclusion and innovation. On the other side, people with reduced mobility who see themselves included in a corporate culture that places disability at the center of their concerns.

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