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Salimah LaForce explains how people with disabilities can help make wireless technologies more accessible by participating in the latest release of the Wireless RERC’s Survey of User Needs (SUN). First launched in 2001, this cornerstone survey provides essential data to engineers, designers, the wireless industry, and government regulators to help make wireless technology more accessible.

 

PEAT's 2017 Think Tank meeting explored key issues related to accessible workplace technology through working groups and rich facilitated discussions with 63 participants representing industry, government, academia, and the disability community. The event generated several tangible recommendations for closing the accessible technology skills gap, expanding government apprenticeship and workforce programs for people with disabilities, and encouraging the development of accessible products.

The National Council on Disability’s 2016 report to Congress notably recognizes accessible workplace technology as a right for all Americans and a key pathway to employment, and provides actionable recommendations for the federal government, technology industry, and private and public sectors.

As of May 2016, the Department of Justice (DOJ) entered into 171 settlement agreements addressing how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to ICT accessibility. Through these agreements, employers and other covered entities can understand DOJ priorities related to website and ICT accessibility and how to proactively comply with existing rules and guidance.

Although legal requirements can sometimes feel burdensome to employers, on the accessibility front they can be very helpful. The relevant federal laws and regulations, such as "Section 508" and the "21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act" (CVAA) provide helpful and detailed information about technical standards that employers can use to guide their use and procurement of technology that is accessible to all users, including people with disabilities.