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If you're an employer about to take a leap into an accessible workplace technology effort, you might be wondering where to begin. It's a question I'm often asked by people who understand the "why" behind accessibility, but who are daunted by the "how." But getting started is actually pretty simple.

Jamal Mazrui is the deputy director of the Accessibility and Innovation Initiative (A&I Initiative) at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). PEAT recently spoke with Mazrui about his work and his own personal experiences with workplace technology.

Live recording of the webinar "Expanding What it Means to Be Accessible: Addressing the Workplace Technology Needs of Users with Cognitive Disabilities." The webinar was recorded on Thursday, December 11, 2014.

CLOSED: To shed light and spur action on this important issue, ODEP’s Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology is conducting a nationwide survey about the accessibility of online job applications and other related systems. This survey closed on June 30, 2015. 

Years ago, I was issued a compelling challenge by my friend and colleague, Dr. David Braddock, executive director of the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities. He asked me to consider examining the right to web access for people with cognitive disabilities—and I was intrigued.

IBM has 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.

CLOSED: Tell us about your experiences! PEAT is conducting a national survey about online job applications. This survey closed on June 30, 2015.

As a senior vice president and information technology manager at Wells Fargo, I frequently received the question, "Can the company buy me a...?"  For those few people who were able to articulate the worth to the bank and the productivity benefits it would bring, I was eager to help, and usually we were successful.

An introductory blog post officially announcing the launch of PEATworks.org, an interactive online resource focused on accessible technology in the workplace.

Today, many companies are implementing “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) policies—meaning employees use their own mobile devices (laptops, tablets, and smartphones) at work to access company information and applications.

Measurement is an important part of ensuring an accessible technology initiative is meeting its intended goals. 

Different enterprises may perform accessibility gap analyses or needs assessments in different ways; some use a dedicated accessibility tool, while others add an accessibility section to a general product management tool.

When a company adopts an accessibility initiative, whether formal or not, it is valuable to communicate that commitment, both internally and externally.

Strong accessibility initiatives usually have support from the top—executives and other leaders who communicate their commitment to an ICT infrastructure that is inclusive of people with disabilities.

PEAT recently spoke with Julia Bascom, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)’s director of programs, about the organization's work in the area of accessible technology and its important to people with autism and cognitive disabilities in general.

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

PEAT recently spoke with the World Institute on Disability (WID)'s executive director Anita Aaron about her organization's work in the area of accessible technology.

Some organizations use a business case to justify their accessibility initiative and help drive its development. Some do not, arguing that accessibility simply has to be done, for many good reasons. What’s your take?

As you develop and implement your accessibility initiative, it's important to know—and be able to prove—that your activities are having a positive effect.

Federal laws and regulations, such as "Section 508" and the "21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act" (CVAA) provide helpful and detailed information about technical standards that employers can use to guide their use and procurement of technology that is accessible to all users, including people with disabilities. 

Live recording of the webinar "Powering Up Your Employment Potential Through  Accessible Technology" originally recorded on Friday, September 26, 2014.

Ernst & Young, LLP (EY)'s 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.

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.

PEAT recently spoke with AT&T's Diane Rodriguez about the company's commitment to providing accessible products and services.

Live recording of the webinar "Designing for the Future: Building Accessible Technology for the Workplace." The webinar was recorded on Wednesday, September 3, 2014. 

This Action Steps toolkit is designed to help employers learn the what, why, and how of accessible workplace technology. 

Live recording of the webinar "Employers & Accessible Technology: The What, Why, and How." The webinar was recorded on Wednesday, August 6, 2014. 

If you're an employer—in any industry—who is getting ready to issue a solicitation for technology products or support, or to talk to specific vendors about what they can offer, a little background research can help you identify the accessibility barriers and solutions for the products you are seeking.

This article will demystify some of the technical standards that apply to accessibility and explain how they differ from laws and regulations. 

In his book, Strategic IT Accessibility: Enabling the Organization, IT accessibility expert Jeff Kline outlines 10 steps for determining where and when accessibility can be infused into the procurement process.

BYOD stands for "Bring Your Own Device," and it's an increasingly popular policy and practice in many of today's workplaces. BYOD offers some accessibility advantages for both employers and technology users—but there are also some unique challenges.

The March 2014 update to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act provides federal contractors with clear guidelines and goals for measuring the success of their efforts to meet these requirements to actively recruit, retain, and advance qualified individuals with disabilities.

To optimize their employment potential, individuals with disabilities should have a basic understanding of what accessible workplace technology is—and use this knowledge to assess and meet their own needs.

Once an organization—whether a tech provider or an employer in any industry seeking to create a more disability-inclusive workplace—has initiated an accessibility initiative, how will it know if it’s making progress? 

Once your company commits to increasing the accessibility of its workplace technology, it is smart to communicate that commitment, both internally and externally.

 
 

PEAT's Social Media User Agreement governs all official PEAT accounts on social media platforms and websites, including, but not limited to, social networking pages, blogs, and file-sharing sites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn). 

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.

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.

A good testing process, including accurate and comprehensive reporting on testing results, can improve communication with employees, customers, and other end users about your company's commitment to accessibility and foster a culture of continuous improvement.

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.