Google chief Internet evangelist Vint Cerf, who shared the 2004 ACM A.M. Turing Award with Robert E. Kahn, says technology has a poor record of accommodating people with disabilities, and he would like to see more progress made.
"It's almost criminal that programmers have not had their feet held to the fire to build interfaces that are accommodating for people with vision problems or hearing problems or motor problems," he says.
Although there are many guidelines for accessible tech design, Cerf laments their deployment is frequently an afterthought.
The former ACM president says accessibility "can't be a pixie dust that you sprinkle on top of the program and suddenly make it accessible," but should instead be a design choice that is rewarded.
Still, Cerf notes awareness of accessibility issues appears to be growing among engineers and designers, as well as within the larger tech community.
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