PEAT Blog

Dialogue to Make #InclusionWork

October is a special time of year for us at the Department of Labor. If you’ve been following this blog in recent weeks, you may already know why; It’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Managed by our Office of Disability Employment Policy, this annual observance celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educates Americans about the value of a diverse workforce that welcomes everyone’s skills and talents. In other words, it’s all about inclusion.

That’s why this year’s NDEAM theme is so fitting: #InclusionWorks. Around the country, individuals and organizations are taking to the Internet and sharing the many ways that inclusion works for them. The groundswell is validating what we already know to be true: that inclusion benefits workers, employers and the American economy.

Inclusion also works when we’re talking about technology, or more specifically the millions of people with disabilities who rely on accessible and universally designed technology to find and apply for jobs, and to do their jobs every day. Unfortunately, a reluctance, or maybe just a lack of knowledge, seems to be preventing the development and adoption of accessible technology that works for everyone. And that negatively impacts people with disabilities and America’s employers.

ODEP grantee Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology fosters collaboration and action around accessible technology in the workplace, and it has convened a series of dialogues and listening sessions with thought leaders from across the country. These events have generated a range of ideas on raising awareness about accessible workplace technology issues and making positive changes. And now we want you to join this important conversation!  

In honor of NDEAM, we’re kicking off an important online dialogue: “Making It Happen: Increasing Awareness of Accessible Workplace Technology.” Open to the general public Oct. 11-21, we invite you to join us in this virtual discussion and vote on the ideas PEAT has collected.

We also want to hear your new ideas related to ensuring the use of accessible technology in all aspects of employment. And we want your feedback on the kinds of policies, programs and structures that need to be in place to advance accessible workplace technology, along with ways that PEAT and the Department of Labor can support them. To participate, simply log on and register. Then, vote on the ideas you like and share suggestions that will help us forge pathways to new solutions.

Your creative thoughts and contributions will help us prioritize next steps related to accessible workplace technology. This October, NDEAM reminds us why #InclusionWorks, and with your input, we can build a future where technology ensures that everyone can put their skills and talents to work.

This post originally appeared on the Department of Labor blog on October 8, and is being shared with permission.

About the Author

Chris Lu photo

Chris Lu

Chris Lu is the United States Deputy Secretary of Labor. He serves as the chief operating officer of a 17,000-employee organization that works to create greater opportunities for all Americans.