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By SafeGov Contributor, Julie Anderson.

Making technology accessible to persons with disabilities is a critical issue to which we need to play closer attention. Within the government, the issue often falls on a federal chief information officers’ long list of to-dos, rather than being a central focus. While recognizing that federal CIOs have a broad set of responsibilities and that there are many critical issues that they manage, we must place a focused eye on whether the issue of accessibility is getting the attention it should.

The U.S. federal government has the power to help tech companies innovate to better serve people with disabilities. This can be achieved by harmonizing U.S. and international technology accessibility standards. Enacting a global accessibility standard will free up financial resources, pave the way for innovation and, overall, create a clearer path to accessibility in the U.S. and abroad.

Benefits of a unified accessibility standard

For tech companies and small businesses alike, an important part of evaluating profitable business opportunities is the cost equation of new technology. The significant cost U.S. companies incur to customize a U.S.-based platform for use in the EU, and vice versa, is too high. Consistent global standards would decrease these development and manufacturing costs by reducing the number of variations across the products, thus freeing up additional resources for R&D and, ultimately, innovation.

To read the entire Fierce Government IT article, click here.

Julie M. Anderson is an expert in the management of government and organizational transformation. Prior to forming AG Strategy Group, she was Managing Director of the Civitas Group. Before that, she served as the Acting Assistant Secretary for Policy and Planning and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in the Obama Administration.

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EurActiv Network