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As we come together to celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), let’s reflect on the current and future state of accessibility for people with disabilities.

Assistive Technology Specialists Chris Baumgart and Meagan Little of Imagine! Colorado discuss how they have worked with employers to create successful virtual reality (VR) workplace training programs for people with disabilities.

Josh Christianson, Co-Director of PEAT, the Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology, discusses how employers can make the virtual workplace accessible. 

Steve Feyer, Director of Product Marketing for Eightfold AI, a leading HR technology company focused on talent acquisition and management, discusses their approach to reducing algorithmic bias and the steps that employers can take.

Alexandra Reeve Givens, Founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Technology, Law and Policy at Georgetown University, discusses how employers need to be aware of both the benefits and potential liabilities associated with using AI in the hiring process, particularly regarding the recruitment and interviewing process for people with disabilities.

Use this checklist to make sure your virtual meetings and presentations are accessible.

In response to the rapid demand for telework, PEAT is partnering with the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs (G3ict) and the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) to offer a series of free webinars as resources to support remote working accessible environments.

For some, conducting business from home may be a new adventure, while others are veterans of remote work. Regardless of experience, it can be helpful for us all to think through approaches to teleworking to ensure that we are both effective and content when working from our home offices.

With telework comes the importance of ensuring that your meeting platforms support full accessibility for people with disabilities. Luckily, the process for selecting an accessible meeting platform matches the process for choosing any other technology.

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.

With the rapid rise of telework, the PEAT team recognizes it’s more important than ever to make sure virtual presentations are accessible. These efforts allow all participants, particularly people with disabilities, to effectively engage with presented content.

Gregg Vanderheiden, Executive Director of the Trace R&D Center at the University of Maryland and Co-Director of Raising the Floor, discusses how employers can find and select accessible workplace technology. Gregg also introduces us to Morphic, an innovative operating system extension that makes assistive technologies and settings show up on any computer a person needs to use. 

Reyma McDeid, Executive Director of the Central Iowa Center for Independent Living (CICIL), discusses how employers can address their business needs and meet those needs by hiring a diverse workforce, including people with disabilities.

As in previous years, CES 2020 showcased promising technologies for expanding employment success for people with disabilities in the workplace. This year, one exciting difference we noticed among many of the next-generation technologies on display was a greater focus on creating technology to optimize and personalize spaces for a wide range of users.

Joel Ward, Technology Strategist and AR Product Manager for Booz Allen Hamilton, discusses the current and future impact of XR on workplace training and how the XR Access initiative is working to make virtual, mixed, and augmented realities accessible.

Throughout 2020, PEAT is exploring the role that technology can play in breaking down barriers to employment and ensuring accessibility, equality, and opportunity for all. Please join us!

Accessibility means that everyone can use the exact same technology as anyone else—regardless of whether they can manipulate a mouse, how much vision they have, how many colors they can see, how much they can hear, or how they process information. Accessible technology adds layers into computer operating systems, mobile phones, and more to allow people with disabilities to access the same information as everyone else.

X-Reality (XR), also known as extended reality, is an umbrella term to describe virtual, augmented, and mixed reality technologies. X-Reality is changing the way we interact with the world around us and will, undoubtedly, shape the future of work.

Autonomous vehicles (AV), also referred to as driverless or self-driving vehicles, have the potential to revolutionize transportation and make sweeping changes to the way people interact with the world around them. AV technology can alter the where, when, and how of transportation, for both personal and commercial purposes. Already being used in some cities, technology corporations and manufacturers are planning for the wide-spread production and use of these vehicles within the next few decades.

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) and automated technologies is changing workplaces. Although data analytics and automation are not new, AI technology has advanced rapidly in recent years alongside innovations in algorithms, data volume, and computing power. AI-powered platforms are now used to screen job applicants, streamline the application process, and provide on-the-job training. AI is also powering exciting innovations in assistive technology for people with disabilities.