Sustainability Factors of Accessible Information Systems and Technologies (IS&T)

Sustainability Factors of Accessible Information Systems and Technologies (IS&T)

Daryoush Daniel Vaziri (Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences, Germany) and Dirk Schreiber (Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences, Germany)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch411
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2 Background

The analysis of user requirements is a crucial process for ensuring efficient and productive human-computer interaction (Isacker et al., 2009; Crowsten et al., 2006). In this process the selection of target groups who will work with the IS is of major importance (Marmaras & Nathanael, 2012). A wrong selection of target groups will cause discrepancies between the IS and the users’ requirements and/or capabilities and thereby will decrease efficiency and productivity. For example, visually or physically impaired users possess different capabilities and therefore have different IS and T requirements. The susceptibility to disabilities becomes higher with increasing age (Lutz & Scherbov, 2005). Therefore, target group selection is a treacherous issue nowadays, since population structures of western industrial nations like Germany, France or United States of America will dramatically alter over the next decades (Lutz et al., 2011). For example, from 2010 to 2050 the proportion of elderly people over 60 years will increase from 26 to 37.5 per cent in Germany, 18.4 to 26.6 per cent in the United States of America and 23 to 30.5 per cent in France. At the same time the percentage of people aged 15-24 declines respectively stagnates in most western nations (United Nations, 2010). As one consequence the proportion of people with disabilities living in these communities is likely to increase (Redfoot & Houser, 2010). In addition, life expectancy rates rise drastically during the next decades (European commission, 2012). These demographic alterations mean a serious challenge for western economies. The average age of the working age population, as well as the mean age of employees within organisations will increase (Van Dalen et al., 2010). On the other side, a substantial proportion of buying power shifts to the elderly and disabled population. To maintain and enhance sustainable competitive advantage organisations need to adapt IS and T related products and services to the requirements of new promising target groups such as elderly and disabled people.

The next section will introduce technical methodologies that support the development of appropriate IS and T for elderly and disabled people.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Sustainability: An economic, ecologic and a social perspective.

Information Systems and Technology: ( IS&T): Which enables the entry, processing and output of information.

Integration: Providing assistance to older adults or disabled people to support them to live in an environment inappropriate to them.

IT-Accessibility: Usability of IT for people with the widest range of capabilities.

Disabilities: A term for human restrictions caused by an inappropriate environment.

Elderly People: People aged 50-65+.

Inclusion: Providing an environment which is appropriate for everyone.

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