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If you‘ll be attending CSUN, we hope you’ll join PEAT for A Fresh Look at Accessibility and Online Job Applications. During this session, Joiwind Ronen and Josh Christianson will share PEAT’s research findings on this critical topic. 

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.

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.

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. 

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.

 
 

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. 

To help your organization realize the many benefits of accessible design, here are PEAT's top tips for factoring accessibility into the entire product development lifecycle.

One of the first steps in improving accessibility in the workplace is getting a clear idea of what ICT is being used, and whether it has any accessibility barriers.

Accessibility can be confusing and complex, but it is possible to measure what you are achieving, and doing that will reinforce the value of your accessibility work and let you understand and communicate about your progress.

What type of executive should spearhead your accessibility initiative? And how can you, as an internal accessibility advocate, recruit such a leader? PEAT suggests three easy action steps to get you on the right path.

To ensure their products are accessible to the widest range of people—including people with disabilities—many technology providers implement internal initiatives focused specifically on information and communications technology (ICT) accessibility. 

Once developed, a solid, comprehensive business case can serve as an important tool in justifying your company's accessibility initiative and communicating about it, both internally and externally.