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Digital recruitment is key to an effective talent sourcing strategy that engages all potential candidates, including those with disabilities. But with so many platforms to choose from, where should businesses begin?

By Bobby Silverstein, Principal, Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville, PC

The following document is background information I compiled for an interview with PEAT about the policy implications for people with disabilities participating in the gig economy.

The information below reflects my own research and analysis and does not represent the views of PEAT, the Department of Labor, or any other agency or organization. This background information should not be construed as providing legal advice; readers need to consult with their own attorney. 

At this year's Coleman Conference on Cognitive Disability and Technology, PEAT had the opportunity to learn from experts working on the latest research on technology for people with cognitive disabilities, and to share with attendees the work we do around public policy and accessible workplace technology.

Getting thousands of employees to understand and integrate an accessibility mindset into their day-to-day work is no easy task. At Capital One, the accessibility team has launched a range of creative internal efforts to promote widespread awareness of accessibility standards and best practices.

The Paciello Group’s Henny Swan argues that it’s time to shift our thinking away from compliance by recognizing how accessible technology can enable people by design.

When it comes to accessibility, VPATs are the most common form of information exchange between vendors and their customers. And at Elsevier, they’ve found that making these reports an organizational priority simply makes good business sense.

Event Date: 
November 16, 2017 - 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EST

Jessica Miller-Merrell is a technologist who focuses her efforts in human resources, healthcare, and the workplace. In this webinar, she discussed how recruiters and HR leaders can prioritize their digital recruiting options and move these efforts forward by developing smaller initiatives designed to drive change and establish buy-in.

For this event, participants were eligible to receive HRCI/SHRM credit.

This new video explores the connection between the six phases of employment and where accessible IT comes into play.

While jobs in the technology industry have grown exponentially, they’re not always accessible to  applicants with disabilities—and Ather Sharif is on a mission to change that.

This year's USBLN conference focused on “Disability: A Catalyst for Innovation" and showcased accessible technology’s role in fostering business success.

This short video describes the six phases of the employment lifecycle and the technologies associated with each phase.

For a detailed list of technologies used by employers and employees to navigate each of these six stages, check out our infographic.

Event Date: 
September 21, 2017 - 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EDT

Accessibility experts Ted Gies and Jay Nemchik discussed the business significance of VPATs, and their best practices for handling requests.

People with disabilities are propelling technology to become more accessible—which in turn is driving innovative breakthroughs from both companies and the people with disabilities who work at them.

For those who follow the world of web accessibility, this year brought a big development—the first public draft of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (

AJCs can use this handy one-pager to reference ICT accessibility best practices related to websites, online systems, and other tools.

This fact sheet offers AJCs an “at-a-glance” overview of the tech-related implications of WIOA, and where to find assistance in meeting accessible ICT responsibilities.

Event Date: 
August 17, 2017 - 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EDT

EvoXLabs founder Ather Sharif discusses his experiences in making tech-focused workplaces more inclusive, from building technology solutions to how and why EvoXLabs developed a partnership with Access Computing at UW that connects students with disabilities with mentors and internships in tech.

People with cognitive disabilities have an equal right to technology and information access. Learn more about this official statement by a coalition of disability organizations and individuals, and how interested parties can sign on to endorse it.

Right out of the gate, this year's M-Enabling Summit had us thinking about our mission in a brand-new way, with an emphasis on one surprising word: octopus.    

AccessibilityOZ founder Gian Wild explores why PDFs can be tricky from an accessibility perspective, and best practices for using them.

This article outlines accessibility best practices for PDFs.

This year’s Accessibility Hack at the Web For All (W4A) Conference demonstrated that collaboration from diverse backgrounds pays big dividends when it comes to accessibility—and that developers can often make easy changes that make a big difference for end users, even when retrofitting a product.

PEAT’s work to foster collaboration and action around accessibility in the workplace would not be possible without contributions from the strong global community that supports us, comprised of accessibility experts, employers, government entities, disability advocates, and others. In celebration of GAAD, here's a list of some of our favorite actionable quotes from our contributors. 

Taleo is the leading applicant tracking system (ATS) used by HR professionals worldwide to source and manage talent. Recently, the Taleo team sat down with PEAT to discuss Oracle’s ongoing journey to make this platform accessible to users with disabilities.

Event Date: 
June 15, 2017 - 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EDT

Today, eRecruiting dominates all aspects of hiring & recruiting, and a successful job search starts by investing in a digital brand. For students with disabilities in particular, strategically shaping an online persona can open many career doors. In this webinar, Intuit’s Ted Drake profiles how several people with disabilities leveraged social media to start successful careers.​

Event Date: 
July 20, 2017 - 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EDT

Shea Tanis, Associate Director of the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities, led a discussion of why technology and information access is a critical right for everyone, and how technology solutions are changing employment opportunities for people with cognitive disabilities. 

Employers and other entities covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title V of the Rehabilitation Act can add the following procurement language to contracts with product vendors to enhance the accessibility of purchased or licensed products.

Event Date: 
April 20, 2017 - 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EDT

Taleo is the leading talent management system used by HR professionals worldwide. In this webinar, Senior Director of Oracle's Accessibility Program Peter Wallack, Product Management Director of Taleo Development Ali Moosvi, and Accessibility Test Engineer Priyanka Jampana​ will discuss the challenges and successes that their team has experienced, as well as the accessibility features currently in production.

PEAT recently chatted with Drew LaHart, Program Director for Accessibility Competency and Enablement of IBM Accessibility Research, and Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer of Microsoft, to learn how their companies are approaching accessibility today and what they predict for the future.

Keeping with tradition, this year's conference delivered another robust line-up of educational sessions highlighting worldwide efforts to make technology more accessible to people with disabilities.

Event Date: 
May 18, 2017 - 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm EDT

In celebration of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), W4A Conference Chair Vivienne Conway recounts the top trends emerging from the global conference Web For All 2017: The Future of Accessible Work. 

 

Today, everything from your paycheck to your company’s recruitment portal is likely powered by electronic payroll systems and human capital management platforms. Jennifer Ravalli of ADP recently joined PEAT to discuss how and why ADP has worked with accessible software provider AudioEye to make their cloud-based HR platforms more accessible.

Event Date: 
March 21, 2017 - 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EDT

Today, many industries are actively recruiting people with autism and other neurological disabilities into their workforces, particularly in fields such as accounting, engineering, and information technology. Join PEAT and the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) for a Twitter Chat to discuss the specific ways employers can leverage accessible technology to meet the needs of neurodiverse individuals—and also maximize the productivity of all employees. You can join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #PEATTalks.

Headed to CSUN 2017? Marcy Sutton of Deque Systems invites developers and non-developers alike to help make workplace technology products more accessible to people with disabilities by joining the aXe Hackathon.

Rachel Kerrigan of the Perkins-Business Partnership joined PEAT Talks to discuss how they are helping to bridge the hiring gap for people with disabilities by educating HR professionals online about common barriers to access. 

Event Date: 
March 23, 2017 - 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EDT

AccessibilityOz CEO​ Gian Wild and Rob Haverty, Senior Program Manager at Adobe explore the accessibility challenges related to PDFs. Topics include how to handle issues such as an existing archive of untagged PDFs on a website. ​

AccessibilityOz CEO Gian Wild explains why making your videos accessible also boosts user engagement generally.

Event Date: 
February 16, 2017 - 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EST

 In this webinar, Jennifer Ravalli of ADP and Dan Sullivan of AudioEye discuss how they have worked to make ADP's human capital management (HCM) software more accessible for employees with disabilities.

By 2020, experts predict that 82% of consumer web traffic will be video. This factsheet on producing accessible videos will help ensure that your videos reach a full audience.

Event Date: 
January 26, 2017 - 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EST

Video accessibility requires more than simply providing transcripts, captions and audio descriptions. Join AccessibilityOz CEO Gian Wild for a detailed demonstration, discussion, and Q&A about how to make videos accessible to people with disabilities.

The annual HR Technology Conference is always an essential event for PEAT, given their focus on technology tools and trends shaping the field of human resources. This year we left feeling more excited and energized than ever, because the topic of accessibility is finally starting to take hold in the hearts and minds of HR Tech stakeholders.

Event Date: 
January 19, 2017 - 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm EST

Learn how educational institutions are bridging the hiring gap for new graduates with disabilities by educating HR professionals online about common barriers to access. Rachel Kerrigan discusses how Perkins School for the Blind and Harvard Extension School have partnered to provide a free online course titled “Introduction to Inclusive Talent Acquisition” for hiring managers and recruiters. The curriculum includes PEAT’s own TalentWorks tool, which provides key resources to help employers make their eRecruiting technologies accessible.

Images are a core aspect of most website designs today, and they can even increase the accessibility of a webpage for many users, such as employees and job seekers with cognitive and learning disabilities. Adding graphics, drawings, illustrations, graphs, and charts can benefit many users by increasing a person’s ability to understand the concepts at hand.

Writing good alternative text for website images means focusing on quality, not quantity. To ensure equal access for employees and job seekers using screen readers, you must tailor each image description on your website to the specific context it is used in. 

Section 255 requires manufacturers to ensure that telecommunications equipment and services are designed, developed, and fabricated to be accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, when it is readily achievable to do so.

Event Date: 
December 15, 2016 - 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm EST

Images are used on websites for many different functions, and each require a different approach for accessibility. In this webinar Gian Wild discusses how to ensure your images are both accessible and usable for people with disabilities.

 

A key step in ensuring an accessible workplace is to ensure that all web resources used by employees and jobseekers are accessible. And because tables are used in structuring many webpages, you’ll want to be sure that yours are correctly formatted.

Table accessibility is important to people with the following disabilities:

If you’ve got a website, you may be relying on tables to convey information. But if those tables are not created correctly, they can create a real mess for employees and job seekers trying to access the information they need, particularly people who are blind, people with low vision, and people with cognitive disabilities. To learn what makes a good table—and the pitfalls of bad ones!—please read on.

Event Date: 
November 09, 2016 - 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm EST

In order to ensure that your eRecruiting materials and other website content is accessible, it’s essential that your website include properly formatted tables. In this webinar, Gian Wild of Accessibility Oz provides a hands-on demonstration of coding and sequence requirements for both data tables and layout tables, and the easy way to determine the difference between table types​

Today, the ability to use ICT technologies is a core element of most jobs, but many applications and websites aren't accessible to everyone. What if employees could use the access features they need anywhere, anytime, on any device? In our September PEAT Talk, Raising the Floor’s Gregg Vanderheiden revealed that this reality may be closer than you think. 

Perkins School for the Blind and Harvard Extension School have partnered to provide a free online course titled “Introduction to Inclusive Talent Acquisition” for hiring managers and recruiters.

PEAT joined federal leaders and accessibility experts on October 20, 2015 at the 2015 Federal Accessibility Forum, held as part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This one-day event was open to federal employees, contractors, and others working to ensure the technologies they use, develop, and promote are accessible. Participants shared best practices, learned about new technologies, and networked with colleagues and accessible technology experts. All presentation materials from the event are available for download.

Event Date: 
October 20, 2016 - 1:00 pm to 1:30 pm EDT

Maria Town, Senior Associate Director for the White House Office of Public Engagement, discusses the important work that the current Administration has done to promote the use of accessible technology in workplaces nationwide. 

It’s no surprise that a team effort is essential for providing accessibility professionals with a strong network of professional support, and in our August PEAT Talk, Rob Sinclair discussed how the recent merger of IAAP and G3ict will promote and support the accessibility profession on a more global scale.

Last month’s M-Enabling Summit brought international leaders together from a range of fields connected to the promotion and advancement of accessible mobile applications—and allowed PEAT to advance key actions related to accessible technology issues impacting employment though a policy roundtable and a panel discussion.

Could your company’s social media recruitment practices be inadvertently screening out qualified candidates with disabilities? In our June PEAT Talk, digital marketer Eliza Greenwood discussed the simple steps you can take to ensure that your messaging is reaching a full audience.

Event Date: 
August 18, 2016 - 1:00 pm to 1:30 pm EDT

In this webinar Rob Sinclair, President of the IAAP Global Leadership Team, discusses the mission of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) and how its recently announced merger with G3ict will help encourage the growth of a worldwide accessibility profession.​