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    Developing and providing information and communications technology (ICT) products that are accessible is a matter of smart business.

    As you develop your accessibility efforts or launch a program or initiative, it’s important to know—and be able to prove–that your activities are having a positive effect. Accessibility can be confusing and complex, but it is possible to measure what you are achieving, and doing that will reinforce the value of your accessibility work and let you understand and communicate about your progress.

    When it comes to building technology products, it pays to incorporate accessibility right from the start—on multiple levels. To help your organization realize the many benefits of accessible design, here are PEAT's top tips for factoring accessibility into the entire product development lifecycle.

    If you're a technology provider, an established accessibility initiative will help ensure that the information and communications technology (ICT) you build and implement is accessible to all workers, job candidates, and customers. To be sustainable, however, your initiative should be guided by formal policies that have both clout and clarity. 

    Oracle's Peter Wallack recently spoke with PEAT about his company's expressed commitment to developing and promoting accessible technology, particularly as it relates to employment.

    We want to hear from you! You can contribute by exploring our conversation topics and sharing the latest good ideas and best practices for improving accessible technology in the workplace.

    People at all levels of a company can demonstrate leadership and shape their current or future workplace. Here are some of PEAT's ideas about how you can advocate for accessible technology at work.

    Looking for a roadmap to ensure that the technology in your workplace is accessible to all employees and job seekers?  You've come to the right place!  This Action Steps toolkit is designed to help employers learn the what, why, and how of accessible workplace technology. 

    AT&T Inc. is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates—AT&T operating companies—are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and internationally. With a powerful array of network resources, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high-speed broadband, voice and cloud-based services. PEAT recently spoke with AT&T's Diane Rodriguez about the company's commitment to providing accessible products and services.

    Headquartered in Melville, New York, Canon U.S.A., Inc. is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions. In addition to cameras and visual equipment, Canon produces a wide range of office solutions including copiers, scanners, printers, and software. To learn more about the company’s commitment to providing accessible products and services for the workplace, PEAT recently spoke with Paul Albano, a senior product manager at Canon U.S.A's Business Imaging Solutions Group.

    Ernst & Young, LLP (EY) is a multinational professional services firm that provides assurance, tax, consulting, and advisory services to its clients. It employs more than 175,000 employees in more than 700 offices across the globe.

    The company has earned great praise for its diversity and inclusion practices and was recently ranked number one on DiversityInc's list of top employers for people with disabilities. That commitment to inclusion extends to accessible workplace technology, and PEAT recently spoke with Lori B. Golden, the firm's abilities strategy leader, to learn more.

    The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) is a national grassroots disability rights organization run by and for people with autism that works to improve public understanding of people with autism, including perceptions related to employment. ASAN also provides insight and expertise into the importance of accessible technology to people with autism and cognitive disabilities in general.

    PEAT recently spoke with Julia Bascom, ASAN’s director of programs, about the organization's work in this area.

    Newly founded last year, the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) already has 1,700 members in 50 countries. The mission of the organization is to define, promote, and improve the accessibility profession globally through networking, education, and certification in order to enable the creation of accessible products, contents, and services. PEAT recently had a conversation with IAAP’s board president, Rob Sinclair, who also has a little day job as Microsoft’s Chief Accessibility Officer, and Chris Peck, IAAP Chief Executive Officer, to find out how they are tackling such a global endeavor.

    Next week’s 2015 M-Enabling Summit on June 1-2 will provide a forum for all who create and contribute to the development and implementation of accessible mobile technologies. We hope to see you there! At last year’s event, we were honored to welcome CTIA - The Wireless Association into the PEAT Network as a founding member, and are delighted to feature their guest post this month. CTIA represents the wireless communications industry, and has long provided strong leadership on mobile accessibility issues.

    No matter your industry, the technological tools we use to accomplish our work today are more advanced than the tools we used even just a few years ago, and this is especially true for people with disabilities. New technologies are fundamentally changing the workplace, and rapidly evolving technologies and workplace policies both play into a new way of doing business.

    Lainey Feingold is a nationally-recognized disability rights lawyer known for negotiating landmark accessibility agreements and pioneering the collaborative advocacy and dispute resolution method known as “Structured Negotiations.” PEAT recently spoke with Feingold about her work around digital accessibility and its impact on the employment of people with disabilities.

    Live recording of a discussion with Adam Streets about GettingHired (link is external)’s accessible platform for job seekers, and the feedback the company has received from job seekers on the application process.

    View a discussion with state accessibility CIOs Jeff Kline, Sarah Bourne, and Jay Wyant regarding Policy-Driven Adoption for Accessibility (PDAA). This new approach can help achieve higher levels of accessibility in vendor-provided products and services over the long term.

    "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD) is an increasingly popular policy and practice in workplaces today. In this recorded webinar, Dana Marlowe, Accessibility Partners LLC (link is external), discusses the accessibility advantages BYOD can offer for both employers and technology users.

     

    Event Date: 
    November 19, 2015 - 2:00 pm to 2:30 pm EST

    BizAbility founders Ted Drake, Principal Engineer at Intuit, and JJ Meddaugh, President of AT Guys, introduce this new, community-driven resource for business owners with disabilities and entrepreneurs to find the accessible tools they need to build and run their business effectively.

    Event Date: 
    April 05, 2016 - 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EDT

    Project Director Josh Christianson and Lead Strategic Consultant Joiwind Ronen demonstrate TalentWorks, PEAT's free online tool for employers and human resources professionals that helps them ensure their online job applications and other eRecruiting technologies are accessible to job seekers with disabilities. Originally recorded April 5, 2016.