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What is UD for Information?

IT will increasingly become a powerful entity in our daily lives as well as our society. However, in a society where there are a large number of people who are still unable to access this new technology, consumer dissatisfaction will multiply, the growth of the industry will be stifled, and Japan will ultimately become incapable of keeping up with the rest of the world.

Digital Divide is a term often used to point to a layer of the population unable to use the current available IT. This term also refers to individuals who are unable to access IT for reason of insufficient resources in an environment. If IT machines and tools such as PCs, cellular phones, PDAs, information home electronics are created with more accessible features for beginner IT users, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, a hugely ignored market will be satisfied, and the cost of the corporate spending on customer support will most probably diminish. If homepages and e-mail, Internet and Intranet were easier to read by persons with disabilities and the elderly, a quickly expanding layer of the Japanese population will be given the opportunity to access this information and the Internet will exhibit its real power. If broadcasting and mass media events were designed to accommodate a more wide range of users, the span of customers and activities in which the entire family can share will expand.
UD for Information aims to create a society where more people can be happy about the development of IT.

Accessibility and Assistive Technology

Accessibility refers to the ability to access and use places and information. When speaking on more general terms of convenience of use, we often use the term Usability.
Assistive technology refers to the technology tools that individuals with disabilities, and the elderly use to support their use of available technology.
Eyeglasses and hearing aids are included as assistive products, but with regard to assistive technology, a good reference is the database of IT tools listed in the Kokoro Web homepage.
When creating a single product for all is not realistic or possible, structuring the product to be used in conjunction with assistive technology is also considered an act of Universal Design.

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