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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.

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.

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.

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.  

As part of our Future of Work series, PEAT has been exploring how coming technology and policy trends may impact people with disabilities at work. The following interview explores the growing gig or freelance economy.

By Bobby Silverstein, Principal, Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville, PC

The following document is background information I compiled for an interview with PEAT about the policy implications for people with disabilities participating in the gig economy.

The information below reflects my own research and analysis and does not represent the views of PEAT, the Department of Labor, or any other agency or organization. This background information should not be construed as providing legal advice; readers need to consult with their own attorney. 

At this year's Coleman Conference on Cognitive Disability and Technology, PEAT had the opportunity to learn from experts working on the latest research on technology for people with cognitive disabilities, and to share with attendees the work we do around public policy and accessible workplace technology.

Getting thousands of employees to understand and integrate an accessibility mindset into their day-to-day work is no easy task. At Capital One, the accessibility team has launched a range of creative internal efforts to promote widespread awareness of accessibility standards and best practices.

The Paciello Group’s Henny Swan argues that it’s time to shift our thinking away from compliance by recognizing how accessible technology can enable people by design.

This new video explores the connection between the six phases of employment and where accessible IT comes into play.

By weaving accessibility requirements throughout the RFP, you’ll demonstrate to the vendor that you take it seriously and are truly invested in providing accessible products/services to your users.

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

An overview of the types of solicitations you can use to achieve a successful procurement. 

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

    After scanning the marketplace for potential vendors who understand accessibility, you’ll be ready to dig deeper and connect with candidates.

    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.

    If you don’t already have executive buy-in for your commitment to accessibility and usability, it’s time to make the case to the powers that be—whether they are top leaders in your organization, your chief information officer (CIO), or the head of procurement. 

    While jobs in the technology industry have grown exponentially, they’re not always accessible to  applicants with disabilities—and Ather Sharif is on a mission to change that.

    This year's USBLN conference focused on “Disability: A Catalyst for Innovation" and showcased accessible technology’s role in fostering business success.

    Designed for internal staff presentations within AJCs, this ready-to-share presentation deck is a perfect tool to train staff on WIOA and accessible technology best practices.

     WIOA and Accessible Technology: A Digital Access Primer for American Job Centers

    Dr. Shea Tanis, Associate Director of the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities, recently joined PEAT to discuss why technology access is everyone’s right, and how tech solutions are changing employment opportunities for people with cognitive disabilities.

    People with disabilities are propelling technology to become more accessible—which in turn is driving innovative breakthroughs from both companies and the people with disabilities who work at them.

    For those who follow the world of web accessibility, this year brought a big development—the first public draft of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (

    AJCs can use this handy one-pager to reference ICT accessibility best practices related to websites, online systems, and other tools.

    This fact sheet offers AJCs an “at-a-glance” overview of the tech-related implications of WIOA, and where to find assistance in meeting accessible ICT responsibilities.

    The 2014 WIOA Act requires American Job Centers to use technologies that are accessible to individuals with disabilities—and PEAT is here to help in these efforts.

    Intuit's Ted Drake recently shared some firsthand knowledge and tips for how jobseekers with disabilities can improve their appeal as potential candidates by using social media to craft their own digital brand.

    People with cognitive disabilities have an equal right to technology and information access. Learn more about this official statement by a coalition of disability organizations and individuals, and how interested parties can sign on to endorse it.

    Right out of the gate, this year's M-Enabling Summit had us thinking about our mission in a brand-new way, with an emphasis on one surprising word: octopus.    

    AccessibilityOZ founder Gian Wild explores why PDFs can be tricky from an accessibility perspective, and best practices for using them.

    This article outlines accessibility best practices for PDFs.

    Global accessibility leaders identified key strategies of making workplace technology accessible at this year’s Web for All Conference (W4A), which focused on “The Future of Accessible Work.” 

    This year’s Accessibility Hack at the Web For All (W4A) Conference demonstrated that collaboration from diverse backgrounds pays big dividends when it comes to accessibility—and that developers can often make easy changes that make a big difference for end users, even when retrofitting a product.

    PEAT’s work to foster collaboration and action around accessibility in the workplace would not be possible without contributions from the strong global community that supports us, comprised of accessibility experts, employers, government entities, disability advocates, and others. In celebration of GAAD, here's a list of some of our favorite actionable quotes from our contributors. 

    This guide helps American Job Centers ensure that their websites, online systems and courses, and applications are accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, as required by the 2014 Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

    Taleo is the leading applicant tracking system (ATS) used by HR professionals worldwide to source and manage talent. Recently, the Taleo team sat down with PEAT to discuss Oracle’s ongoing journey to make this platform accessible to users with disabilities.

    Employers and other entities covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title V of the Rehabilitation Act can add the following procurement language to contracts with product vendors to enhance the accessibility of purchased or licensed products.

    Keeping with tradition, this year's conference delivered another robust line-up of educational sessions highlighting worldwide efforts to make technology more accessible to people with disabilities.

    Self-driving cars show exciting promise to address existing barriers for people with disabilities traveling to and from work—as long as developers incorporate accessibility into these technologies from the start.

    Today, everything from your paycheck to your company’s recruitment portal is likely powered by electronic payroll systems and human capital management platforms. Jennifer Ravalli of ADP recently joined PEAT to discuss how and why ADP has worked with accessible software provider AudioEye to make their cloud-based HR platforms more accessible.

    Headed to CSUN 2017? Marcy Sutton of Deque Systems invites developers and non-developers alike to help make workplace technology products more accessible to people with disabilities by joining the aXe Hackathon.

    Rachel Kerrigan of the Perkins-Business Partnership joined PEAT Talks to discuss how they are helping to bridge the hiring gap for people with disabilities by educating HR professionals online about common barriers to access. 

    AccessibilityOz CEO Gian Wild explains why making your videos accessible also boosts user engagement generally.

    By 2020, experts predict that 82% of consumer web traffic will be video. This factsheet on producing accessible videos will help ensure that your videos reach a full audience.

    Here's what you need to know about the U.S. Access Board's long-awaited update to the federal regulations covering the accessibility of ICT and telecommunications products and services.

    The annual HR Technology Conference is always an essential event for PEAT, given their focus on technology tools and trends shaping the field of human resources. This year we left feeling more excited and energized than ever, because the topic of accessibility is finally starting to take hold in the hearts and minds of HR Tech stakeholders.

    Writing good alternative text for website images means focusing on quality, not quantity. To ensure equal access for employees and job seekers using screen readers, you must tailor each image description on your website to the specific context it is used in. 

    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.

    This 2010 law is the source of several new regulations aimed at addressing telecommunications accessibility in the digital age.

    Section 255 requires manufacturers to ensure that telecommunications equipment and services are designed, developed, and fabricated to be accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, when it is readily achievable to do so.

    The Rehab Act is designed to safeguard the civil rights of people with disabilities, and includes many regulations related to technology.

    The ADA is a comprehensive civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities—including Internet Web site access, mobile applications, and other forms of ICT

    If you’ve got a website, you may be relying on tables to convey information. But if those tables are not created correctly, they can create a real mess for employees and job seekers trying to access the information they need, particularly people who are blind, people with low vision, and people with cognitive disabilities. To learn what makes a good table—and the pitfalls of bad ones!—please read on.

    Today, the ability to use ICT technologies is a core element of most jobs, but many applications and websites aren't accessible to everyone. What if employees could use the access features they need anywhere, anytime, on any device? In our September PEAT Talk, Raising the Floor’s Gregg Vanderheiden revealed that this reality may be closer than you think. 

    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.

    Perkins School for the Blind and Harvard Extension School have partnered to provide a free online course titled “Introduction to Inclusive Talent Acquisition” for hiring managers and recruiters.

    It’s no surprise that a team effort is essential for providing accessibility professionals with a strong network of professional support, and in our August PEAT Talk, Rob Sinclair discussed how the recent merger of IAAP and G3ict will promote and support the accessibility profession on a more global scale.

    Last month’s M-Enabling Summit brought international leaders together from a range of fields connected to the promotion and advancement of accessible mobile applications—and allowed PEAT to advance key actions related to accessible technology issues impacting employment though a policy roundtable and a panel discussion.