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Are we at a tipping point with regards to employer awareness of the importance of accessible technologies in the workplace? In the March 2016 PEAT Talks, Sharron Rush, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Knowbility, was optimistic that things are starting to change, and offered several tips for employers related to "usable accessibility."

Deputy Secretary of Labor Chris Lu discusses his takeaways from meeting with the great Stevie Wonder and hundreds of other dedicated leading accessibility "stars" at last month's International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference (CSUN). As he notes, "our commitment to accessible technology is about basic civil rights, as well as the collective productivity of America’s workforce...employers, technology vendors and tech users with disabilities must all work together to raise awareness and educate one another about accessible workplace technology issues, most of which can be easily solved."

Event Date: 
May 19, 2016 - 2:00 pm to 2:30 pm EDT

In honor of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), the organizers and winners of the international WWW+W4A Accessibility Hackathon met to discuss the innovations that resulted from the event.

Introduction

Hello and welcome to PEAT Talks, the virtual speaker series from the Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology. On every third Thursday of the month, PEAT Talks showcases various organizations on individuals whose work and innovations are advancing accessible technology in the workplace. My name is Christa Beal. I'm a member of the PEAT Team and I'll be hosting today's talk.

We asked employers if their company uses online pre-employment testing as part of the hiring process. Results of our on-going poll are available below.

 

We asked people what they think the biggest barrier is to making online job applications accessible to people with disabilities. Results of our on-going poll are available below.

We asked companies if they use social media as part of the eRecruiting process. Results of our on-going poll are available below.

We asked people if their organization has an accessibility "point person." Results of our on-going poll are available below.

We asked people if their organization has a plan in place to make sure it is buying technology that is accessible to job applicants and employees with disabilities. Results of our on-going poll are available below.

We asked people if their organization is using accessible technology as part of its eRecruiting processes. Results of our ongoing poll are available below.

We asked employers and employees where they have experienced accessible technology issues in the workplace. Results of our ongoing poll are available below. 

While new technologies have broken down countless barriers for individuals with disabilities, job hunting online continues to be fraught with accessibility-related obstacles that the general population may not even realize exist.  And as GettingHired's Gabrielle Nagle discusses, inaccessible eRecruiting doesn’t just affect the job seeker, but also the employer.

As businesses compete to attract talented, skilled employees, it’s important to make sure that artificial barriers aren’t blocking their path. In this cautionary tale, Sassy Outwater explains how employers may be missing out on top candidates when their online hiring and recruiting systems aren't accessible.

Is corporate America waking up to the idea that accessibility can be a business driver, not an added expense? In the February PEAT Talk, AudioEye's Dan Sullivan, a senior executive with 15 years of experience in HR, suggested this is already happening.

>>Hello, and welcome to PEAT Talks, the virtual speaker series from the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology. On every third Thursday of the month, PEAT Talks showcases various organizations and individuals whose work and innovations are advancing accessible technology in the workplace. My name is Christa Beal. I’m a member of the PEAT team and I’ll be hosting this today’s talk.

How do people with disabilities use the Internet to search for and apply for jobs? Daniel Ferro, senior interaction designer at Forum One, explores the ways that people with various disabilities interact with eRecruiting tools. His message to employers and HR professionals? "Don’t think of accessibility as a troublesome box you need to check—think about it in terms of your opportunity to connect with the best talent."  

The terms “accessibility” and “universal design” are often used together these days. But what is actually meant by these two terms?  Sina Bahram, a digital accessibility expert, broke it down for us at our January PEAT Talk.

Event Date: 
April 21, 2016 - 2:00 pm to 2:30 pm EDT

Interested in why accessible eRecruiting tools make sense, and how to implement? Join Denis Boudreau, senior web accessibility consultant for Deque, to learn the simple steps that web developers and designers can take to ensure that job seekers with disabilities are not excluded from employment opportunities.

Event Date: 
March 17, 2016 - 2:00 pm to 2:30 pm EDT

Sharron Rush, co-founder and Executive Director of Knowbility, explains the importance of user testing to ensure that workplace technologies are truly accessible.

In today's race for talent, more and more employers and human resources (HR) professionals are turning to mobile apps to power their online job applications.

Pre-employment testing. According to the Washington Post, it's a trend that's on the rise in today's job market. More and more employers leverage web-based tools to screen applicants, test knowledge, evaluate personality traits, and more.

Online hiring practices have made it increasingly easy to apply for a job—unless you’re a person with a disability, that is. Senior Web Accessibility Consultant Denis Boudreau explores the problem of why the employment rate of Americans with disabilities has continued to drop for the last 25 years, and how web designers and developers hold a key to improving the situation.

Event Date: 
February 18, 2016 - 2:00 pm to 2:30 pm EST

Dan Sullivan, Vice President of Sales at AudioEye, talks about the return-on-investment for employers who embrace accessible technology that benefits all users.

When it comes to the accessibility of web pages, web applications and web tools, most people turn to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), the internationally recognized standards developed and maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). In order to help technology providers and employers understand the basics of WCAG and other related accessibility standards, PEAT spoke with the W3C's Shawn Henry, who leads their worldwide education and outreach promoting web accessibility.

For several members of the PEAT team, October was a busy month of travel, talk, and trend spotting as we headed west to attend three conferences: the Coleman Institute on Cognitive Disabilities Annual Conference (October 15); HR Technology Conference and Expo (HR Tech) (October 18-21); and the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) Access 2015 (October 21-23). All presented valuable opportunities for our team to learn, share knowledge, examine future trends, and identify ways to strengthen PEAT's work.

Event Date: 
January 21, 2016 - 2:00 pm to 2:30 pm EST

Universal design allows us to develop content and experiences that are inclusive of the widest possible audience. In this recorded webinar, Sina Bahram discusses how Prime Access Consulting (PAC) has worked with museums, universities, and corporations to successfully apply universal design principles to help advance digital accessibility for a variety of clients.

In the spirit of NDEAM, PEAT guest contributor Dana Marlowe explores how the practice of "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD) can boost productivity and help people of all abilities succeed on the job. "Nowhere does BYOD have more potential and measurable benefit than in the employment of people with disabilities," she writes. Marlowe is the founder and president of IT consulting firm Accessibility Partners.

This event provided resource sharing and collaboration opportunities to federal government employees, contractors, and others working to ensure the technologies they use, develop, and promote are accessible. The workshop presentation materials are available for download to anyone interested in learning or sharing digital accessibility.

The six phases of the Employment Lifecycle and their corresponding technologies. 

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

When buying a piece of eRecruiting technology—such as a talent management tool, online job application software, or digital interviewing product—employers and human resources professionals can often feel like they're at the mercy of the vendors who are selling or building the technology. 

Six experts weigh in on why it is important for employers to improve the accessibility of online job applications.

Welcome to the TalentWorks Resource Library. Below is a collection of all featured resources from each TalentWorks page. This also includes links to additional external resources that may be helpful as you refine your eRecruiting processes. 

We encourage you to submit additional resources that will improve the accessibility of your peers' eRecruiting tools.  

In today’s business world, eRecruiting tools are everywhere. Also known as "online recruiting," eRecruiting refers to the practice of using technology—in particular, web-based resources—to support tasks involved with finding, attracting, assessing, interviewing, and hiring new personnel.

Powers Pyles Sutter and Verville principal Bobby Silverstein details the various accessibility policies and how companies can strategize to make this part of their company culture.

Concepts, Inc. communications specialist Carolyn VanBrocklin discusses built-in accessibility features of various social media platforms and what employers can do to make their pages even more inclusive and accessible.

Powers Pyles Sutter and Verville principal Bobby Silverstein makes the case that ICT accessibility is a gateway civil rights issue and that universal design will improve employee productivity across the board.

GettingHired’s disability talent and branding solutions expert Ryan Carroll shares how his company ensures their website is accessible to people with disabilities and how other employers can do the same.

Minnesota’s Chief Information Accessibility Officer Jay Wyant lists specific areas of concern that job applicants with disabilities often face when it comes to online applications.

PEAT Project Manager Corinne Weible answers the common question of “What is the difference between accessible technology and assistive technology?”

So you are interested in ensuring that your eRecruiting systems are accessible. You understand that this will widen your candidate pool and ensure you get the very best applicants for each position. So now what? We at Forum One have thought long and hard about this topic and want to share what we have learned.

If you're one of the many employers adding digital interviews to your tool chest of eRecruiting technologies, you're not alone. According to a 2015 survey conducted by Korn Ferry1 71% of employers use real-time video interviewing and 50% use video interviews as a way to narrow the candidate pool. These new breeds of job interview—conducted over the Internet, often through videoconferencing—are attractive options due to their ease and cost-effectiveness.

With proper planning and consideration, you can ensure that all job seekers are able to access and experience your recruiting videos, webcasts and live events. 

More and more employers are using social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to advertise job postings and promote their companies, while job seekers are using them to network, learn about career opportunities, and apply for jobs online. But not all social media content is accessible to all people, which limits the reach and effectiveness of these platforms.

This tip sheet describes some common accessibility issues faced by people with several types of disabilities—including those affecting vision, hearing, physical, and cognitive skills. It highlights tips and exemplary practices that HR professionals can share with the technology designers and developers who are purchasing, building, modifying, and improving their eRecruiting tools, websites, and mobile applications.

Accessibility matters to people with all kinds of disabilities—not just those with vision and hearing impairments. That means individuals with intellectual and learning disabilities, cognitive issues, traumatic brain injuries, and other disabilities, all of which can make using the Internet more challenging.

Despite all of the advances in technology, employers are still having trouble filling positions. Of course, there are a number of reasons why finding talent is so difficult. But what if one of those boiled down to a fundamental problem with the technology tools employers are using? What if top talent is falling through the cracks due to accessibility issues, rather than a lack of qualifications?

Section 508WCAG? The ADA? If you're new to the topic of accessibility, you might be asking yourself which accessibility-related laws and regulations apply to you, and which accessibility standards your eRecruiting tools should follow. 

One of the most crucial ways to ensure that your eRecruiting tools are accessible is to ensure that you buy accessible technology in the first place. And if you're like most companies, you already have some of these purchases under your belt.

In today's job market, employers are increasingly using online tools to conduct pre-employment testing. Such tools are used to screen job applicants and can include testing of professional knowledge, cognitive ability, career skills, personality traits, soft skills, language proficiency, and more.

If you're like most employers, your top recruiting priority is to get great people into the talent pipeline—and more importantly, to keep them there. Unfortunately, a job applicant's first impression of a company is sometimes a long, complicated online job application that may or may not be accessible.  

Finding good employees is not what it used to be. Instead of candidates mailing or dropping off hard copy resumes to your place of business, most candidates today discover job openings through online searches. It's a trend that is benefiting employers and job seekers alike.

So we've establishedboth through PEAT's survey and subsequent reportwhy accessibility matters to eRecruiting.

Of course any initiative you undertake boils down to the return on investment, and accessibility should be no exception. Thankfully, purchasing and using accessible technology—including accessible eRecruiting tools—can benefit your organization immensely. Read on to learn how...

Imagine that the only thing standing between you and your dream applicant is an online job application that prevents the candidate from clicking the "next" button. It's a common scenario faced by many job seekers with disabilities, and inaccessible technology used during the hiring process is the root cause. Such issues can create employment barriers to qualified candidates and can cause you to miss out on potentially great hires.