Resource Library

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Leading tech companies are increasingly recognizing the potential of neurological diversity, and are launching dedicated autism hiring initiatives to attract this often overlooked talent pool.

28 years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), people with disabilities continue to face unequal access in digital spheres. Oath’s Larry Goldberg argues that making accessibility a central part of technology education is an essential part of the solution.

Facebook’s Director of Accessibility Jeff Wieland and Director of Global Policy Monica Desai recently joined PEAT to discuss why and how Facebook has made accessibility a priority.

Jennifer Carlson, Executive Director of Apprenti, discusses how their program works with employers to quickly fill STEM positions with new and more diverse talent through inclusive apprenticeships.

Brooke Aiken details the new features and tools recently launched at Section508.gov, the federal government’s website for IT accessibility. While aimed primarily at federal employees and contractors, these tools are broadly useful for anyone seeking to ensure that the technology they are buying is accessible.

View and download an infographic displaying PEAT's findings from our recent conversations with partners about the accessible technology skill levels in their organizations. 

Tips to help you ensure that your social media posts are accessible to everyone.

Teach Access recently drew students to Silicon Valley for their inaugural Study Away program, where students met with leading companies to learn the value of an accessible technology skill set on the job market—and how it will help them make a real impact on ALL users.

Henry Claypool, policy consultant for the American Association of People with Disabilities, discusses the potential impacts that autonomous vehicles may have in the workplace and other areas of life.

PEAT recently asked our partners to tell us about accessible technology skill levels in their organizations. See a summary of our findings and the corresponding infographic, and check out the actions we're taking to close the gap.

Tech companies are currently struggling to fill job openings because not enough prospective employees have accessible technology skills—and their products are less accessible as a result. Check out PEAT's latest research, and the actions we're taking to close the gap.

Beth Crutchfield and Jessie Haugh of Level Access discuss the accessibility issues that HR and workplace leaders should consider when using virtual and augmented reality as part of their hiring, recruiting, and retention processes.

Dan Ellerman, Inclusion and Diversity Senior Manager at Accenture, discusses the findings from their recent white paper "Amplify Accessibility," and the hows and whys of implementing the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Sassy Outwater-Wright, Director of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI), discusses why businesses should hire people with disabilities, and what it's like for jobseekers to encounter eRecruiting and HR technologies that aren't accessible.

It's important to know—and be able to prove—that your activities are having a positive effect. PEAT offers several resources to help you measure and evaluate your progress

Employers committed to diversifying their applicant pools and improving their candidate experience need to be aware of problems that applicants with disabilities may have when they try to access careers sites, job portals and electronic applications.

Larry Goldberg of Oath (formerly Yahoo) and Kate Sonka of Michigan State University discuss how the Teach Access collaborative is helping leading tech companies and universities partner to ensure that the next generation of tech developers and designers learn to think and build inclusively. 

Our team joined thousands of accessibility enthusiasts from around the globe at the annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference last month to exchange insights about the progress of accessibility efforts in technology and business, and to learn what is in store for the future.

Find resources to get started with training staff across your organization in the accessibility skills relevant to their specific roles.

Different job roles within your company will require different training levels and skills. This article discusses some typical job roles and the accessibility training they should ideally receive.

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.

 

Next time you’re out and about, take a moment to notice how many people around you are wearing technology-enabled accessories. While not yet ubiquitous, wearable technology is making its way into our lives as an everyday part of our wardrobes−and for people with vision loss, such emerging technologies are providing unprecedented access to information about the world around them.

Jeff Bigham of Carnegie Mellon University discusses how computer scientists rely on crowdsourced testing to make technologies more accessible, and how the flexibility of crowd work intersects with growing opportunities in the gig economy for people with disabilities.

People with various permanent, temporary, situational, or changing disabilities access the web in different ways. Check out the following tips to ensure that everyone can use your website—regardless of whether they can manipulate a mouse, their level of vision, how many colors they can see, how much they can hear, or how they process information.

We asked employers what emerging workplace trends or technology would have the biggest impact on people with disabilities in the next 5 years. Results of our ongoing poll are available below.

Researcher Martez Mott is working to create new touch interaction techniques for mobile technologies using machine-based learning. In this episode, he explains how this emerging technology will improve workplace technology with touch screens by allowing users with a range of motor abilities to customize their touch techniques.

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.

Here at PEAT, we spend a lot of time talking about the importance of accessible technology in the workplace. But how do we ensure that budding computer engineers and programmers have the skills they need to develop accessible tech in the first place?

Scott Wiseman and Joe Bielawski discuss how the gig economy is helping the government to staff up, push projects forward, and increase efficiency—and the opportunities this may offer to job seekers with disabilities.

Event Date: 
February 15, 2018 - 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EST

Paul Schroeder, Aira Director of Public Policy & Strategic Alliances, discusses how emerging technologies are shaping the landscape of employment for people with vision loss, and other disabilities.

Many accessibility consultants are available for hire to help build and fix accessibility issues, and to provide staff trainings.

As you build and refine your accessible technology initiative, you can find additional training resources and support for yourself and staff through the following professional development resources:

AccessU

This annual conference offers instructional courses in digital accessibility, including online sessions for remote attendees.

Any digital content your company distributes, either internally or externally, needs to be accessible. This article covers training resources for many popular workplace products.

Resources for getting started with web accessibility. While the average employee doesn’t need to know the nuts and bolts of web accessibility, you’ll want to ensure that anyone involved with the website understands how to upload accessible content.

 

The following resources explore how you can weave accessibility and inclusion into your organizational culture.

Bobby Silverstein discusses the implications of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other laws related to accessible technology with respect to shifts to a gig or project-based workforce.

What does the future hold for accessible IT? Federal and industry executives from across the technology sector recently joined PEAT, supported by the General Services Administration (GSA), to share experiences, learn from each other, and discuss the future of accessible IT.  

Jutta Treviranus, Director and Founder of the Inclusive Design Research Centre, discusses how to improve artificial intelligence systems so they can better serve everyone, including people with disabilities.

Cisco's Project Lifechanger started out as a volunteer pilot program, and is now helping to transform the company's hiring and employment programs. 

Event Date: 
June 21, 2018 - 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EDT

In recent years Facebook has become a tool for professional networking and on-the-job workplace productivity through its enterprise collaboration software, Workplace. In this webinar, Director of Accessibility Jeff Wieland and Director of Policy Monica Desai discuss why and how Facebook has made accessibility a priority.​

Event Date: 
January 18, 2018 - 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EST

Larry Goldberg of Oath and and Jeff Wieland of Facebook discuss how Teach Access is working with industry, academia, and advocacy groups to expand the quality and quantity of undergraduate programs that teach the fundamentals of accessibility.

After reviewing the responses to your RFI, you’ll be better prepared to define the accessibility requirements for your formal procurement solicitation.

Step 8 in the Buy IT! process is to review and learn from your experiences, which can occur immediately after a particular ICT purchase, or at the beginning of a procurement planning endeavor

    Model procurement language you can use when developing and negotiating a contract with a vendor

    Sample solicitation language you can use when finalizing your RFP or RFQ.

      This section of Buy IT! offers helpful background on writing an effective solicitation that produces an accessible and usable version of the product you need.

      Before issuing a solicitation it is crucial to determine whether the marketplace already houses accessible versions of the products you want to buy. 

      Once you secure executive buy-in for an accessible ICT procurement program, your planning can begin.

      Event Date: 
      October 19, 2017 - 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EDT

      Mark Penicook explores Capital One’s efforts to integrate accessibility awareness across their internal brand and to establish enterprise-wide accessibility standards and best practices.

      Implementing accessible technology in your workplace means buying accessible tech in the first place. This new resource helps employers and their purchasing staff build accessibility and usability into their information and communication technology (ICT) procurement processes.

      Policy Matters provides policy analysis and news regarding laws and regulations, court decisions, and government resources related to the accessibility of technology used in all aspects of employment.

      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.

      Event Date: 
      November 17, 2016 - 1:00 pm to 1:30 pm EST

      Jenny Lay-Flurrie, the Chief Accessibility Officer of Microsoft, shares valuable guidance on creating a workplace culture focused on access and inclusion.

      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.

      TechCheck is a powerful but simple tool to help employers assess their technology accessibility practices and find tools to improve them.

      When growing an accessible workplace technology effort, it can be daunting to efficiently address gaps in your knowledge base. However, you don't have to do it alone. Eliza Greenwood recently attended the annual AccessU conference to improve her own skills, and reports that the opportunity to practice digital accessibility "hands on" in computer labs made a big difference.

      What's the key to understanding how accessible your products are? A good testing process.