Look Beyond Disability

Friday, October 27, 2023. 2:19pm

IA Labs Secures Commitment for over €3 Million in Support at Clinton Global Initiative 2023, Paving the Way for Global Expansion and Digital Accessibility

IA Labs (Inclusion and Accessibility Labs) marked an incredible success story at the influential Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) 2023 event, held in New York September 18-19, as they secured an astounding 170+ leads and the commitment of over €3 million in support over the next two years. At the prestigious gathering, IA labs hosted the event’s first ever live lab, shining a light on the challenges of digital accessibility. They also showcased their innovate digital accessibility platform that promises to transform the online landscape, empowering individuals with disabilities and fostering a truly digital equal society.

Sharing the spotlight at CGI with an illustrious assemble of leaders, innovators and influencers including his Holiness Pope Francis, Almar Latour, CEO Dow Jones and Publisher of the Wall Street Journal, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organisation and many high-profile celebrity philanthropists, the theme of IA Labs’ strand at CGI 2023 was ‘Inclusive Economic Recovery and Growth’.

Photo Credit: Paul Morse / Clinton Foundation


This strand garnered 200 applicants from global participants and out of this impressive pool, IA Labs secured a place on the select shortlist of 30 chosen Commitments to Action, an achievement celebrated by many, including Greg Milne, CEO of CGI. “Access to the internet and digital tools are essential, which is why it’s important that we work to close gaps that leave people with disabilities without equitable access. IA Labs’ commitment at CGI 2023 takes a critical step forward to bridging the technology divide, and we are grateful to IA Labs for stepping up and taking action.”

The success story of IA Labs at CGI 2023 goes beyond mere numbers. This substantial support of over €3 million over the next two years will enable IA Labs to expand its operations internationally, creating job opportunities and, most importantly, providing digital accessibility to a wider population.

National Council for the Blind Ireland (NCBI) is actively seeking to increase IA Labs’ team to ensure the scaling of operations to meet the requirements of both American and European markets. Additionally, an investment in a Chief Marketing Officer is planned to create awareness and understanding of the project, leading to greater engagement and investment from like-minded parties. NCBI also intends to collaborate with leading sight loss charities in Europe and North America to help realise their ambitious goals.

IA Labs is actively developing a prototype which will enable the global scalability of their solution, providing accessibility to millions of people with disabilities and organisations at minimal infrastructure costs. IA Labs unique solution ensures that online services are accessible to people with disabilities, enhancing organisation reputations as inclusive employers.

CGI’s commitment to supporting IA Labs places them among a select few organisations poised to realise their ambition of becoming a global enterprise.

“Our selection for CGI 2023 is a testament to Ireland’s spirit of innovation and commitment to inclusivity,” remarked NCBI and IA Labs’ Spokesperson Chris White. “We are ready, with the support of CGI, philanthropists and social enterprises who have committed and are investing to come on our journey, to make a lasting impact by transforming digital accessibility. Our collaboration with CGI affirms our belief in the power of technology to bridge gaps and create a world where everyone has equal access. We were honoured to have received tremendous support at the event and would also like to extend our gratitude to celebrities such as Leiv Schreiber and Irish entrepreneur Denis O’Brien for stopping by, supporting and advocating the work of IA Labs!”

The CGI 2023 Meeting served as a testament to NCBI and IA Labs’ pioneering spirit and unwavering commitment to fostering inclusivity and accessibility in the digital realm. With over 1.3 billion people worldwide living with disabilities, NCBI and IA Labs aim to tackle the critical issue of digital exclusion head-on. Despite global legislations mandating digital accessibility, the reality remains stark, with less than 2% of top websites meeting international accessibility standards. In Ireland, research reveals that less than 18% of people with sight loss are employed, with a significant barrier being the inaccessibility of websites, hindering job applications. Furthermore, in the fields of education and business, the statistics are equally alarming. None of the top secondary schools, universities or colleges in Ireland are digitally accessible, and only 28% of Ireland’s Top 100 companies meet accessibility standards.

In the United States alone, the disposable income controlled by working-aged people with disabilities exceeds $500 million. IA Labs recognises the transformative potential of this untapped market. Through its partnership with the CGI, IA Labs is poised to take its revolutionary platform to scale, revolutionising digital accessibility for millions while helping organisations enhance their reputations as employers of choice for people with disabilities.

IA Labs’ cutting edge platform audits websites to ensure they meet global standards for digital accessibility. By providing remediation services and unique alternatives for interaction, IA Labs is set to offer the first-ever dedicated support tool for people with disabilities.  IA Labs’ success at CGI 2023 is a testament to their commitment to digital accessibility and their mission of creating a more inclusive and accessible world.


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