Transcript: Lucy Greco on the Inaccessibility of Online Job Applications

PEAT asked Lucy Greco, Web Accessibility Evangelist at UC Berkeley: “Given that many job applications are not accessible to people with disabilities, what’s your advice on how best to change this?”

Greco: What I would change is that the platform manufacturers become much more responsible for that process, provide tools to the employers that are using their applications and become the ultimately responsible parties for that process to be accessible. So large employers and mid-size employers don’t create their own employment applications, that’s not what they’re doing now. Universities, city governments, major corporations — none of them are in the business of doing HR, I mean unless they’re an HR company. Of course they’re not in the business of creating an HR application, so they’re gonna go buy it from somebody.

I think ultimately some kind of pressure needs to be put on the vendors — because there’s only about three or four vendors out there that sell these products — to do a better job. And then, that there be some healthy competition in the marketplace, that the Monsters and the LinkedIn’s and all the rest of those agencies out there that are the places people go looking for jobs, be forced to become accessible as well. And they’re the ones that show up the vendors of the application process by being accessible.

And it’s impossible for a person with a disability who can’t enter the application to get the job, but also if they can’t find the job and they can’t locate the position and figure out that they’re qualified for it, they’re never gonna make it either. So I think we need to connect to these two entities and make these entities work together to do accessibility. And hey, why not, let’s get people with disabilities helping them test it, and that’s what’s missing in most of the time, is these vendors are creating these products but they’re not testing them, and they’re not using people with disabilities and giving the people who have the skills and how to use it the jobs that they need.