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PEAT Deputy Project Director Corinne Weible answers the common question of “What is the difference between accessible technology and assistive technology?”

So you are interested in ensuring that your eRecruiting systems are accessible. You understand that this will widen your candidate pool and ensure you get the very best applicants for each position. So now what? We at Forum One have thought long and hard about this topic and want to share what we have learned.

Digital interviews have the potential to be a wonderfully accessible option, since the applicant can interview from surroundings already customized to their needs, but there can often be accessibility-related challenges that can impact the fairness and inclusiveness of digital interviews. 

With proper planning and consideration, you can ensure that all job seekers are able to access and experience your recruiting videos, webcasts and live events. 

More and more employers are using social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to advertise job postings and promote their companies, while job seekers are using them to network, learn about career opportunities, and apply for jobs online. But not all social media content is accessible to all people, which limits the reach and effectiveness of these platforms.

This tip sheet describes some common accessibility issues faced by people with several types of disabilities—including those affecting vision, hearing, physical, and cognitive skills. It highlights tips and exemplary practices that HR professionals can share with the technology designers and developers who are purchasing, building, modifying, and improving their eRecruiting tools, websites, and mobile applications.

Accessibility matters to people with all kinds of disabilities—not just those with vision and hearing impairments. That means individuals with intellectual and learning disabilities, cognitive issues, traumatic brain injuries, and other disabilities, all of which can make using the Internet more challenging.

Despite all of the advances in technology, employers are still having trouble filling positions. Of course, there are a number of reasons why finding talent is so difficult. But what if one of those boiled down to a fundamental problem with the technology tools employers are using? What if top talent is falling through the cracks due to accessibility issues, rather than a lack of qualifications?

Section 508WCAG? The ADA? If you're new to the topic of accessibility, you might be asking yourself which accessibility-related laws and regulations apply to you, and which accessibility standards your eRecruiting tools should follow. 

One of the most crucial ways to ensure that your eRecruiting tools are accessible is to ensure that you buy accessible technology in the first place. And if you're like most companies, you already have some of these purchases under your belt.

In today's job market, employers are increasingly using online tools to conduct pre-employment testing. Such tools are used to screen job applicants and can include testing of professional knowledge, cognitive ability, career skills, personality traits, soft skills, language proficiency, and more.

If you're like most employers, your top recruiting priority is to get great people into the talent pipeline—and more importantly, to keep them there. Unfortunately, a job applicant's first impression of a company is sometimes a long, complicated online job application that may or may not be accessible. 

Finding good employees is not what it used to be. Instead of candidates mailing or dropping off hard copy resumes to your place of business, most candidates today discover job openings through online searches. It's a trend that is benefiting employers and job seekers alike.

Now it's time to actually make your eRecruiting tools accessible, from your recruitment portals and online job banks, to your corporate "careers" micro-site, online job application systems, pre-employment screening tools, digital interview technology, and your applicant tracking system. 

Of course any initiative you undertake boils down to the return on investment, and accessibility should be no exception. Thankfully, purchasing and using accessible technology—including accessible eRecruiting tools—can benefit your organization immensely. Read on to learn how...

Imagine that the only thing standing between you and your dream applicant is an online job application that prevents the candidate from clicking the "next" button. Such issues can create employment barriers to qualified candidates and can cause you to miss out on potentially great hires.

Transcript of the webinar PEAT Talks: Policy-Driven Adoption for Accessibility (PDAA). This webinar was originally held on September 17, 2015.

A transcript from the PEAT Talks: GettingHired webinar held on August 18, 2015.

Some know it as "pre-employment." Others simply call it "recruiting and interviewing." Whatever the label, we're all referring to the first stage of the employment lifecycle. And that, of course, is the focus of this tool.

TalentWorks is a free online tool for employers and human resources professionals that helps them ensure their online job applications and other eRecruiting technologies are accessible to job seekers with disabilities. PEAT created the tool based on its national survey of people with disabilities.

This summer, PEAT concluded its national survey on user experiences related to the accessibility of online job applications and other eRecruiting tools. Check out our new infographic summarizing the survey results, and stay tuned as PEAT develops new tools and resources related to this critical issue.

Event Date: 
November 19, 2015 - 2:00 pm to 2:30 pm EST

BizAbility founders Ted Drake, Principal Engineer at Intuit, and JJ Meddaugh, President of AT Guys, introduce this new, community-driven resource for business owners with disabilities and entrepreneurs to find the accessible tools they need to build and run their business effectively.

Event Date: 
April 05, 2016 - 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EDT

Project Director Josh Christianson and Lead Strategic Consultant Joiwind Ronen demonstrate TalentWorks, PEAT's free online tool for employers and human resources professionals. Originally recorded April 5, 2016.

View a discussion with state accessibility CIOs Jeff Kline, Sarah Bourne, and Jay Wyant regarding Policy-Driven Adoption for Accessibility (PDAA). This new approach can help achieve higher levels of accessibility in vendor-provided products and services over the long term.

Join key subject matter experts and thought leaders nationwide to share good ideas and best practices for improving accessible technology in the workplace.

This article explores tips for communicating about accessibility–clearly, directly, and throughout the technology development lifecycle.

This article provides tips on accessible technology training—from basic disability awareness for all employees, to highly specialized technical training for software and application developers. 

Robert "Bobby" Silverstein, one of the behind-the-scenes architects of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), reflects upon how the ADA is now increasingly playing a critical role in ensuring equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities by ensuring the accessibility of information and communication technologies (ICT).

Live recording of a discussion with Adam Streets about GettingHired's accessible platform for job seekers, and the feedback the company has received from job seekers on the application process.

Lainey Feingold is a nationally-recognized disability rights lawyer known for negotiating landmark accessibility agreements and pioneering the collaborative advocacy and dispute resolution method known as “Structured Negotiations.” PEAT recently spoke with Feingold about her work around digital accessibility and its impact on the employment of people with disabilities.

"Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD) is an increasingly popular policy and practice in workplaces today. In this recorded webinar, Dana Marlowe, Accessibility Partners LLC (link is external), discusses the accessibility advantages BYOD can offer for both employers and technology users.

 

Social media is a key tool for employers today to attract talent and promote their brand. In this live recording, founder Dennis Lembree discusses the inclusive Twitter application Easy Chirp, which provides the ability to "tweet" accessible images. This innovation has won several awards, including the 2014 FCC Chairman’s Award for the Advancement in Accessibility.

Live recording of the PEAT Talk with Neil Giacobbi, Executive Director of Public Affairs at AT&T held on June 18, 2015. Giacobbi spoke about the AT&T NYU Connect Ability Challenge, a three-month global software development competition designed to create new innovations that improve the lives of people living with disabilities.

No matter your industry, the technological tools we use to accomplish our work today are more advanced than the tools we used even just a few years ago, and this is especially true for people with disabilities. New technologies are fundamentally changing the workplace, and rapidly evolving technologies and workplace policies both play into a new way of doing business.

CLOSED: On February 27, 2015, the U.S. Access Board published a proposed update to the rules implementing Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which outlines the federal standards and guidelines for making information and communications technology (ICT) accessible to people with disabilities. The public comment period closed on May 28, 2015.

View an archived walkthrough of TechCheck. Geared toward employers, this free, interactive tool helps organizations evaluate their accessible workplace technology efforts and find tools to develop them further.

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. 

PEAT recently had a conversation with the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) board president, Rob Sinclair, who also has a little day job as Microsoft’s Chief Accessibility Officer, and Chris Peck, IAAP Chief Executive Officer, to find out how they are tackling such a global endeavor.

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.