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Is NHS 1605 the third big game changer?

July 7, 2015

Without doubt the new accessible information standard 1605 announced last Friday by NHS England is THE biggest public sector thing to happen to accessible information over the last decade and I think will have a much bigger impact than the accessible information bits specified in the Equality Act 2010. Sad to say I don’t think the Equality Act 2010 really changed any games, maybe it set a new rule, but few followed them and even fewer have used the law to secure their rights. 1605 secures the right for you and inspections will be carried out by the Care Quality Commission, saving blind people from having to take on cases themselves.

For the record the two other big game changers are what Apple and what Google have done by embedding accessibility into their smartphones, tablets and computers for free. Anyone who can use these devices has a drastically reduced need for transcription services or special alternative format provisions because the device can speak or make a large print version on-the-fly, importantly, of the mainstream message, email, document or web page that the company or service produces as standard for everyone else. It’s a win win business strategy because it brings the blind person into the mainstream.

New NHS standard effectively brings blind people into the mainstream too and should be a win win as well.

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