PEAT Blog

Accessible Technology and the Employment Lifecycle

Have you considered whether the information technology (IT) in your workplace is accessible to all your current and future employees? From recruitment to retirement, technology plays a key role in each phase of an employee’s time with a company. That means it’s important to ensure that technologies in your workplace are accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities, at all stages of their careers. These include online search tools, social media platforms, job application programs, pre-employment testing, talent management systems, and more.

Just in time for National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), PEAT has released a new video, “Accessible Technology & The Employment Lifecycle,” to explore the connection between the six phases of employment and where accessible IT comes into play. To learn more about the Employment Lifecycle and how PEAT’s resources can help you ensure accessibility at every stage, check out the video below. For a detailed list of technologies used by employers and employees to navigate each of these six stages, you can also view our infographic.

Transcript: 

At the Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology, or PEAT, we are focused on how to improve the accessibility of workplace technologies. One way we do this is by looking at the Employment Lifecycle to understand how technology fits into each phase of an employee's time with a company.

The lifecycle begins with recruiting, moves to hiring and onboarding, then work immersion and productivity, and includes career advancement and then retention and finally post-employment and retirement. Today, technology touches all phases and aspects of employment. But in our research, we have also found that many - if not most - workplace technologies can't be fully used by people with disabilities.

Just consider the first phase: recruiting. Today over 90 percent of job applications are online and in the process, job seekers often use technology such as corporate websites, online job sites and applications, social media, pre-employment tests, digital interviewing tools and more.

During the next phase - hiring and onboarding - technology remains center stage. A new hire will typically need to use corporate intranets, onboarding and screening tools, training videos and online benefits administration.

Once they're hired most employees use technology throughout a typical day. During phase 3 - work immersion and productivity – essential technologies may include: computers, phones, devices, software applications, webinar and video conferencing platforms and assistive technology.

Moving on to phases four and five, we have career advancement and retention. In addition to the tools we've already mentioned, these phases often feature: learning management system software, performance review applications, employee assistance program applications and return to work and stay at work programs. Finally, the post-employment and retirement stage involves technologies like benefits and retirement plan applications and access to past performance records.

So, what does this all mean? Well, for employers concerned about effective talent management, it's important to consider all these technologies. In other words, if these technologies cannot be accessed or used by job applicants, current employees or retirees, you have a problem. And PEAT is here to help. Come explore our website, peatworks.org, to learn how. We'll show you the nuts and bolts and help you ensure your workplace related technology is accessible across all stages of employment.