Interview

Building, buying, and adopting accessible workplace technology is a smart business strategy—but don't just take our word for it. PEAT's ongoing Spotlight Profile interview series explores best practices with key industry and thought leaders to share what works.

PEAT recently chatted with Drew LaHart, Program Director for Accessibility Competency and Enablement of IBM Accessibility Research, and Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer of Microsoft, to learn how their companies are approaching accessibility today and what they predict for the future.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Jamal Mazrui has both a professional and personal connection to accessible technology. He's the deputy director of the Accessibility and Innovation Initiative (A&I Initiative) at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the independent agency of the U.S. government that regulates interstate communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. Jamal is also blind, and a developer and user of technology inside and outside the workplace. PEAT recently spoke with Mazrui about his work and his own personal experiences with workplace technology.

IBM is a global technology and consulting company headquartered in Armonk, New York. With operations in more than 170 countries, the company develops and sells software and systems hardware and a broad range of infrastructure, cloud, and consulting services.

IBM has also been a leader in the accessible technology arena for more than 100 years, and in July 2014, it appointed Frances West as the company's first chief accessibility officer. PEAT recently talked with West about her new role and IBM's approach to accessibility.

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.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., CTIAThe Wireless Association® represents the wireless communications industry and has a history of leadership on mobile accessibility issues.

We recently spoke with CTIA's Matthew Gerst, director of state regulatory & external affairs, about CTIA's work in this area.

The World Institute on Disability (WID) is an internationally recognized leader in promoting inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of community life, including employment. Founded in 1983 by leaders of the Independent Living Movement, it is headquartered at universally designed Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley, California. PEAT recently spoke with WID's executive director Anita Aaron about her organization's work in the area of accessible technology.