Rehabilitation International Asia Pacific Regional Conference, Macau (2019)

Fortune Favors the Brave:
Challenges and Successes of Accessible IT Development Associatio

T.H. Tse 2 , Albert So 3 , and Danny Pak-kin Fan 3

[presentation slides]



The Accessible IT Development Association (AIDA) is a social enterprise in Hong Kong. We are a team of people with profound disabilities who provide professional web design and development services. In this paper, we share our experience of the challenges and successes since our establishment in 2013.

Initial Challenges

Initially, we faced great difficulties in the web development process. Despite our partnership with consultancy companies, there was a huge knowledge gap between the experts and our team. We struggled to learn a diversity of web development techniques, which eroded on the self-confidence. Furthermore, users approached us only for tiny projects. Financial rewards were limited. Potential trainees shied away from the steep learning curve and the restricted prospects.

Subsequent Successes

After phases of explorations, we decided to concentrate on WordPress development skills. They allow AIDA to design and implement websites that are modern, accessible, and responsive. The plugins help us produce professional deliverables without the need to master programming. Our website for the Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation won a gold award in the Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme. Our health education platform "Putting Brains in Muscles" was supported by the Equal Opportunities Commission. Current projects include the websites for the RI Regional Conference, the SAHK, and the Hong Kong Physiotherapy Association.

Future Sustainability

Our successes are due not only to well-defined targets but also the dedication of key directors and members. We cannot ensure continuity when they find better opportunities elsewhere. Furthermore, the lack of a regular office or regular salaries is not helpful in cohering members. A sustainable infrastructure is in order. We are applying for funding for such purposes. The future is optimistic.

1. This work was supported in part by the General Research Fund of the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (project no. 123512).
2. (Corresponding author.)
Department of Computer Science, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.
3. Accessible IT Development Association.


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