Telework and Accessibility
Many employers and employees have shifted to telework. PEAT is here to help with the transition to ensure your digital communications and platforms are as accessible as possible for everyone, including people with disabilities.
The recent shift to telework for a staggering number of government and private sector employees has caused a surge in the use of digital communications systems. Employers and employees are now relying heavily on digital technologies to conduct business, collaborate with colleagues, host virtual events, and recruit and hire employees.
With digital devices, platforms, and documents becoming the primary methods used by individuals to execute work and engage in daily life, it’s more important than ever to prioritize digital accessibility. Because technology changes rapidly, you’ll also want follow our explorations of how emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and extended reality are impacting the future of work.
We’ve created the following resources to help equip employers with the information needed to ensure that the virtual workplace is accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities.
Accessible Digital Communications
Creating Accessible Content
Learn how create accessible digital materials by reviewing the following tipsheets:
Hosting Meetings and Presentations
- Review these seven essential steps and related resources to help create accessible presentations.
- Learn what elements you should look for when researching options for an accessible meeting platform.
- Find guidance on how to work with vendors through the procurement process to pick an accessible virtual meeting platform.
- Once you’ve learned the process from the above articles, use this checklist to ensure that you take all necessary steps before, during, and after the meeting.
Staff Training & Policies
- Allowing audio-only status on calls supports mental health wellness for employees, including people with disabilities.
- Many employees may find it easiest to use personal devices with the accessibility features they need while working remotely. Read the PEAT post, “Bring Your Own Device and Accessibility” to learn more about best practices for handing BYOD requests.
- Use the EARN framework “Adopting an Integrated Telework Policy for Employees With and Without Disabilities” to ensure your telework policy is applicable to all employees, including employees with disabilities.
- Looking to hire an accessibility professional? Here’s information to help find the right accessibility consultants and staff.
Resources for Employees with Disabilities
- Are you an employee with a disability, and perhaps setting up a remote workspace for the first time? Follow these action steps to get the workplace tools you need to be successful: “Accessibility and Employment: What People with Disabilities Need to Know.
- For some, conducting business from home may be a new adventure, while others are veterans of remote work. These “Tips for Being an Effective Teleworker” were designed with people with disabilities in mind, but provide information that can be useful to anyone who is transitioning to remote work.
Resources for Recruiting and Hiring Professionals
- For those planning to conduct virtual interviews, read the PEAT Employer Tip Sheet, “Ensuring Accessible Digital Interviews.”
- If your company is using pre-employment testing before hiring new staff, make sure it’s accessible. Check out these pre-employment testing tips and tricks from PEAT.
- Before you start the hiring process, read this post, “Rethinking How You Connect with Talented Candidates.”
Communicate Your Commitment
Once your company commits to increasing the accessibility of its workplace technology, it’s helpful to your organization and employees to strategically communicate that commitment, both internally and externally. Here’s how:
- Read “Communicating Your Commitment to Accessibility: Tips for Employers” to learn valuable strategies for communicating about accessibility with your employees, as well as jobseekers, new hires, and the general public.