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Final Integration for Accessibility, Global Economy, Electronic Money, and Banking

The intertwining between electronic money and banking and the global economy is quite apparent in today’s society. On one front, there exists the possibility of international banking. People are able to set up bank accounts in foreign countries and transfer money easily, with automatic currency conversion. As stated by CanukAbroad, this act is very useful if one was to be transferring funds from one country to another on a regular basis (CanukAbroad.com). Some banks operate multi-nationally, thus allowing the creation and managing of accounts easy and convenient. With the advent of online-banking, this banking process becomes even easier. A client is able to manage, check and change aspects of their accounts online, at anytime from any where. This allows the possibility, for instance, of a person on vacation to keep up to date on account balances and if needed, continue doing business while away.

Another convergence of these two topics exists in one of the internet’s most popular sites: eBay. Users are able to conduct international business easily and frequently from their own homes. This idea of an “online-market place” destroys the borders that exist for economic markets, allowing the entire globe to be part of this market. With all economies, the idea is that they "deal with any issue arising out of the conflict between the demand for goods and services, and a limited supply of resources to satisfy those demands" (UTM) . While this definition has a very cutthroat connotation, indeed the world market is competitive. EBay thusly exercises this definition on a global front. Citizens of another country are able to compliment the demand of a particular product by supplying it to others where supply is needed. This in turn helps their local economy as well, by acquiring funds from another nation that they can then spend in their local places of business.

There exists what is known as the idea of “curb cutting” (William Calvin.com). A while ago, city streets did not have the same accessibility and infrastructure as they do now. The design of such street corners was not of easy accessibility to those of disabilities. Instead of the cut curbs which now have a gradual decline at the edge of each sidewalk, the curbs ended with the sudden drop to the street. In demand to complaints and concerns of wheelchair users, it was decided that curbs should be altered to the state they are in now. However, not only did it help wheelchair users, but it in turn helped cyclists, parents with strollers, the elderly, and other members of the public in general . This is the idea which can be applied to internet accessibility, the global economy, electronic money, and banking.

The idea to cut curbs (or, make things accessible) is a positive thing. Ultimately, whatever is done to help those who cannot easily access the internet and make use of such applications as online banking and the managing, buying, or selling of goods done online make the internet more user friendly on all levels. It is thought that this wide scale improvement will have a positive effect on the global economy. For example, a key principle of Web accessibility is designing Web sites and software that are flexible to meet different user needs, preferences, and situations. As noted in W3.org’s article on accessibility, “This flexibility also benefits people without disabilities in certain situations, such as people using a slow Internet connection, people with "temporary disabilities" such as a broken arm, and people with changing abilities due to aging” (W3.org). People with accessibility issues will start taking part in global online communities and forming networks. For example, with an increase in user-friendliness, people who only used the internet for email might start using it to follow the stock market, pay bills, or shop. Business wise, a company is more likely to be chosen over that of one which is not demonstrating 'corporate social responsibility'. This means that a business acts in accordance with ethical guidelines. This overall increase in internet use brought forth through increased accessibility also known as the curb cutting technique will eventually stimulate the global economy

Society owes very much to the countless technologies and the brains that developed them. Some of these technologies have become part of everyday life, because of this it is easy to take their use for granted or assume everyone has equall access. Unortunately this is not the case, and often people are overlooked. The four major disabillites that prevent people from using online banking, Paypal, eBay and other relevant tools are visual disabillities, hearing impairments, physical disabilities and cognitive disabillities.

Common visual disabilities include blindness characterized as a substantial and uncorrectable vision loss in both eyes, low vision (which includes blurry vision, only seeing the centre of an image, or only seeing the periphery of an image) and colour blindness where the eye lacks sensitivity in distinguishing between colours .

Here are some solutions to these problems that will help those affected get the most use out of the relevant technology. Common blindness and low vision aides include increasing font or screen size, screen magnification devices/software, screen readers, speech synthesizers, and refreshing braille display (W3.org). A man with colour blindness who may confuse red and green or blue and yellow will have trouble with webapges that use these colours. The way to fix this is with customizable style sheets, so that the webpage can maximize its viewability (perhaps maximizing contrast and applying black text to a white background). It is also helpful to make webpage content redundant and simple. For those with low vision, again customizablity is a must. Font sizes can be changed as well as colour. People with low vision often use screen magnifiers that zoom in on a portion of the screen (Webaim). Blind people also use screen readers (in conjunction with special browsers) to interpret on screen data as well as voice input systems which allow them navigate the web. Refreshable braille displays are also used, they resemble small keyboards and change to match the web content in braille which are the interpreted (W3.org) .

Common hearing impairments include being hard of hearing or deafness (substantial uncorrectable impariment of hearing in both ears) . Their are verying degrees of hearing loss and different types of deafness including; a blockage of the hammer, anvil and stirrup, nerve damage induced deafness, and different tonal hearing loss (Webaim).

For people who are hard of hearing or deaf the use of text, captions, and simplicity are used.(W3.org).
For any audio captioning or alternative text should be provided.

Motor disabilities can include weakness, limitations of muscular control (such as involuntary movements, lack of coordination, or paralysis), limitations of sensation, joint problems, or missing limbs. Some physical disabilities can include pain that impedes movement. These conditions can affect the hands and arms as well as other parts of the body. (W3.org)

For individuals with physical and motor disabilities using the Internet can be frustrating, although with the help of the most recent assistive technologies webpages are now able to be for user-friendly for every individual no matter there disability. The most common barriers people with motor disabilities encounter are related to problems affecting the hands or arms. General obstacles that users will run into are limited response time, in which the user would require more time than allowed to complete the task or when a particular browser will not support the users mouse commands. When individuals suffering from physical disabilities encounter these types of problems while surfing the web this creates a barrier, which keeps them from accessing the information. For example when a bank is creating their online service they would most definitely want to provide the most accessible website possible by allowing every single customer to have the ability to use their online banking service. If lets say their browser does not support the mouse commands of a particular customer who suffers from joint problems the bank would be restricting that individual from accessing their own financial information. From a business perspective it only makes sense to create accessible websites so that all members of society can access you service whether the have a disability or not.

Cognitive and neurological disabilities can include learning disabilities (such as dyslexia, spatial orientation, auditory perceptual disabilities), intellectual disabilities (such as down syndrome), attention deficit disorder, and memory impairments.

For those individuals living with cognitive and neurological disabilities affecting the brain using the Internet can be quite trying as not many web creators focus on accommodating these types of disabilities. Assisstive technologies still prove to be useful with these types of disorders whether it be the use of screen readers for those individuals who have trouble processing written information or someone who uses captions to help understand an audio track but for the most part these types of cognitive disorders rely mostly on the actual organization and arrangement of the pages. For instance someone who suffers from attention deficit disorder may have trouble focusing on the page if there is distracting visual or audio elements. To help minimize the level of disruption websites can offer the choice to turn off certain elements that can be distracting to the viewer, for instance audio clips or graphics.

The common themes that can be collected include regulation, innovation, boundary crossing and such. It is important to realize that people with accessibility issues have rights according to the web accessibility initiative (W3.org). The web needs to be regulated in order for the free flow of information to happen. It is through regualtion in this case that doors are opened.

Research has compiled a long list of accessibility barriers, the technologies are developed enough to ensure that no one is left out of these cyber domains, and an equally long list of solutions are to be had. Of course their are still technical problesm to overcome. Through further contemplation problems of accessibility stem from the lack of economic gain . Eqaul access is a right, unfortunately if those demanding equal access were the higher class they would probably have better access. The economics of this cycle are being highlighted at this point. A question needs to be asked, what are the costs and rewards gained through the promotion of accesibility? The global economy has been brought down to scale on a micro level and can be applied to the power relationship involved. The sad truth is accessibility is a small issue in the gobal economy and the most advancement to be seen is where the most money can be made. If their are bankable oppurtunities within accessibilty then we will have greater access for all, but at a price. Hopefully in the future, forward thinking minds will continue to mash up these three topics as done here and through innovation continue to destroy boundaries and create links.



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