Slides showing progress from one-size-fits-all to personalisation
Slides showing progress from one-size-fits-all to personalisation

Since 1999 I've tramped the world to technical standards meetings, first in eLearning then in accessibility of eLearning. The work is fun but my goals have been to do what I could to move the world towards being more inclusive. I believe we will all be happier if we can move away from the notion of groups of people where some groups are given less opportunity to participate in our world than others. Technology can do an awful lot to enable participation by all persons and we would all be more prosperous and happy if we can use it that way. Businesses would have larger markets, governments would be able to do their work more effectively and there would be less stress. And we simply can't afford to waste talent by allowing it to go undeveloped by excluding people from joining in this society.

A vision of the world where everyone can participate sounds naive - as if we can solve world peace, world poverty, global species depletion and global warming all in one day. The reality on the ground is that its very hard work persuading people and organisations to look a little further than short term cheap solutions and to reap the benefits of collaborating with other organisations, making little pieces of technology work together and in the process opening up new and larger markets that benefit those organisations and their customers. I believe a more prosperous world is possible but we must cut down a little on the short term greed in order to see the opportunities.

I focus on enabling the growing use of personalisation to support ways of accessing systems and content not currently well-supported. In the physical world personalisation can be very difficult. Roads, buildings and similar systems cannot easily adapt to individuals needs after they are built. But electronic systems can if we can just start to see them as serving our needs and not the other way around. The ultimate goal of technology use has to be to make life better, to enable us to do things we could not otherwise do. This is why the chimp pokes a stick in the log to get the termites. He does it not to make money out of the next chimp but to get a treat he coudn't otherwise get.

As detailed elsewhere on these pages I participate in a number of standards initiatives that support personalisation for accessibility. These include IMS Access for All, ISO/IEC Individualised Adaptability and Accessibility for Learning, Education and Training, ISO JTC1 Special Working Group on Accessibility and may other groups. I can provide strategic advice to companies that can see the vision and want to be in on the growing picture as it grows - a scary but potentially very prosperous place to be.

Doing the right thing and being prosperous can be the same thing.

And I have some fun while I'm doing it.