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Six experts weigh in on why it is important for employers to improve the accessibility of online job applications.

In today’s business world, eRecruiting tools are everywhere. As these tools become more and more commonplace, employers are asking important questions about the legal responsibilities they may have to make those tools accessible to all users, including job seekers with disabilities.

Powers Pyles Sutter and Verville principal Bobby Silverstein details the various accessibility policies and how companies can strategize to make this part of their company culture.

GettingHired’s disability talent and branding solutions expert Ryan Carroll shares how his company ensures their website is accessible to people with disabilities and how other employers can do the same.

Minnesota’s Chief Information Accessibility Officer Jay Wyant lists specific areas of concern that job applicants with disabilities often face when it comes to online applications.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.