In 2014 Dr Scott Hollier, the Digital Accessibility Director for Media Access Australia, conducted a comprehensive review of Cloud accessibility. Two years on, the state of accessibility has changed and now two opposing directions are shaping the cloud access landscape. Listen to and read an intriguing podcast article.
Listen to the complete interview as Dr Scott Hollier talks with Media Access Australia’s Philip Jenkinson, about the state of cloud accessibility.
With an ever-increasing reliance on mobile devices with limited on-board storage, the Cloud is bound to keep growing, and with that ongoing expansion comes accessibility implications. Dr Hollier’s white paper The Accessibility of Cloud Computing – Current and Future Trends was an important exploration of the Cloud and in many respects, his conclusion that industry, Government and consumers should work together to improve access to it, is even more relevant today.
“I think there’s some very exciting implications when it comes to accessibility,” said Dr Hollier. “And one of the things we have seen in recent times is a trend towards the internet of things, IoT. So in addition to our devices becoming more mobile, we also want to engage with devices in other places.”
So what does this mean in a practical sense for consumers?
“For example if we’re moving around with our mobile phones, we might want to also keep track of how things are going at home in terms of security,” said Dr Hollier. “We might want to make sure that our fridge has those groceries being ordered and so we’ve seen a lot of developments in terms of devices being accessible and also being on the cloud.”
“The ability for a fridge to order its own groceries or for you to take care of that while you’re out and about, to make sure that our lighting and heating and our security is all handled and being able to monitor that wherever we are, this is really where things are going.”
Fortunately, accessibility is part of this quiet cloud-based evolution.
“Of course, it’s important to make sure that accessibility’s a part of that, and there’s really two possible ways that this future direction can go. One is to make sure the device itself is accessible, or to make sure that our accessibility is all connected through a device that we already have, like a smartphone,” said Dr Hollier.
“So what’s been interesting is some of the big movements around using our own smartphone and our own devices, which are quite accessible now, and using that to engage with things like our fridge or our washing machine. It’s very interesting to see where it’s all going.”
If your organisation needs assistance with web and digital accessibility you can contact the Digital Accessibility Services team at Media Access Australia.