Data Exploration for Everyone

Qlik’s philosophy on accessibility

This morning I stopped by Dunkin Donuts to grab a cup of coffee and got in line behind a young man, mid-30ish, in a suit and tie and a wheelchair. As I waited for my coffee, I watched as he wheeled out the automatic door with a pile of donut boxes in his lap, steered down the ramp, opened his vehicle’s trunk via remote, and boarded using a lift.

As I watched him navigate each step with precision, three thoughts went through my mind. First, I was impressed. Second, my morning routine now seemed easy by comparison. And third, thank goodness for ramps and automatic doors and lifts.

Everyday tasks that I often take for granted—like grabbing a cup of coffee—aren’t effortless for those with disabilities. Fortunately, today’s advances make possible what would have been unthinkable 20 years ago. From medicine to architectural considerations to technology, each has a role to play in making life better for millions of people around the world.

In the United States alone, Nielsen reports that more than one in three households has a member who identifies as having a disability. But too often, when it comes to technology and data exploration, this community’s needs are overlooked.

Technology has made major strides in recent years to aid those with disabilities:

Vint Cerf, known as one of the "fathers of the internet", also happens to have a hearing impairment. In a recent interview with CNET conducting as part of their “Tech Enabled” series, he stated

"It's a crime that the most versatile device on the planet, the computer, has not adapted well to people who need help, who need assistive technology.”

In recent years, however, that’s begun to change, and the pace of technological advances is dizzying. Prior to 1998 when Congress amended the Americans with Disabilities Act to make IT accessible to all (Section 508), the iPhone was still a decade away. Today, some smartphones incorporate active braille technology. A decade from now, who knows what breakthrough new tech will be available.

Here at Qlik, our architecture and philosophy are to embrace cutting edge technology, including those serving accessibility needs. Because technology moves quickly, Qlik’s platform is built to leverage the best of new advances. Our open architecture and extensibility allows users to integrate and leverage the latest accessibility capabilities as soon they are developed. So rather than waiting for the next product release, users can benefit from the latest innovations today.

Because just like driving or grabbing a cup of coffee, data exploration is for everyone.


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