NCBI Centre for Inclusive Technology
Promotion| Education | Assistance
Working for People with Sightloss
The NCBI Centre for Inclusive Technology (CFIT) was established in January 2005 by the National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI). Its role is to help work towards an Information Society that is accessible to all. To be fully part of the social, economic and political life of contemporary Ireland, people have to use a wide range of products and services that are based on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). These include personal computers, application software, telephones, the Internet, digital TV, smart cards, ticket machines, public information displays, mobile devices, and many other technologies.
CFIT’s objective is to ensure that ICT-based products and services in Ireland are designed to be accessible to the widest audience, including older people and people with disabilities.
We believe accessibility is important for three reasons
This must be accepted by anyone who believes in a free and fair society in which each person is able to participate and contribute fully.
For a product or service provider, allowing access for all maximizes your customer base. For the country, ensuring access to education and employment increases the available labour pool and reduces the cost of maintaining dependency.
Inclusive design is good design practice because it increases the designers’ awareness of users and their needs, leading to increased usability for all.
Accessibility is not incompatible with functionality or aesthetics. We believe our own website is fully functional, aesthetic and accessible.
It is our view that ICT-based products and services will only become fully accessible to all when developers and providers:
CFIT works towards these objectives using Promotion, Education, Assistance and Research.
We provide practical help to organisations wishing to develop or implement accessible solutions. This takes the form of accessibility auditing, user testing and technical support. CFIT provides expertise and services to anyone in the private or public sector on an equal footing. We do not form exclusive partnerships.
We promote ICT accessibility and the correct use of appropriate technologies. We campaign on behalf of people with disabilities to ensure the accessibility of specific products or services and the adoption of appropriate standards through legislation and public policy.
We also promote the benefits of Inclusive Design. We advocate an active role for older people and people with disabilities in the design and evaluation of ICT products and services.
We educate technology designers, developers, managers and students in the fundamentals of accessibility and how to achieve it. We provide awareness raising to a wide audience on access issues and the benefits of Inclusive Design. CFIT provides a resource for NCBI staff, NCBI service users and their representatives. It allows them to learn about ICT accessibility so they can make more informed decisions about the choice and use of appropriate equipment. We also take place in cutting edge research into many new areas such as mobile.
How accessible is your website? Find out with our web accessibilty auditing service.
Need an accessibility consultant to work with your design and development teams? We can help.
NCBI Centre for Inclusive Technology are involved in many research projects both nationally and internationally.
We have experience in national and international standards devlopment.