Resource Library

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This year’s expanded 2-day Accessibility Hackathon at the Web for All (W4A) Conference in San Francisco advanced workplace inclusion for people with disabilities by enhancing web-based tools such as Jupyter Notebooks with an accessibility mindset.

Jim Fruchterman discusses Benetech’s research on expanding employment success for people with disabilities, and how inclusive hiring and accessible technology intersect with Silicon Valley’s push to drive innovation.

I. Executive Summary

In FY 2013, the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) launched the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT). Through FY 2018, PEAT has served as the leading national resource to promote policy action and collaboration to increase the development and adoption of accessible workplace technology.

On January 17, the PEAT Think Tank held an in-person meeting with leadership from the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). Based on an in-depth analysis of insights gathered at the meeting, PEAT has distilled a set of potential action steps that PEAT, DOL, and other organizations can use to prioritize emerging and prospective efforts around advancing accessible technology and employment.

Amitai Bin-Nun, Vice President of Autonomous Vehicles and Mobility Innovation at Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE), discusses the factors that autonomous vehicle manufacturers need to consider from an inclusive design standpoint, and the potential this technology holds to bring new talent into the workforce.

This year's CSUN Assistive Technology Conference highlighted the sharp rise of artificial intelligence (AI) into everyday life, charting both the challenges and great potential that AI holds from an accessibility perspective.

Megan Lawrence and Laura Ruby discuss how and why Microsoft is partnering with the Smart Cities for All initiative to eliminate the digital divide for persons with disabilities in cities around the world.

Neil Milliken, global head of accessibility and inclusion at Atos, discusses how apprenticeship programs are helping Atos quickly bring in new and more diverse talent with the in-demand accessible technology skills they need.

The Center for Leadership in Disability at Georgia State University is conducting a survey to examine considerations for workplace technology use by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The deadline is June 30, 2019.

By prioritizing accessibility here and now, CES 2019 highlighted how next-generation technology can transform the workforce and make it more inclusive for people with disabilities (PWD).

PEAT's Think Tank provides a tangible space for diverse entities, both public and private, to collaborate in identifying problems and potential solutions related to ensuring people with disabilities can use new and existing technologies.

The year 2018 closed with the passage of the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act (IDEA), which promises to make federal websites more accessible, mobile friendly, and secure.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently released a significant statement clarifying that digital accessibility is covered by the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Check out PEAT’s inside look on the 2018 ICT Accessibility Testing Symposium, and how one student is changing the face of web accessibility in the nonprofit sector.

Jennifer Carlson, Executive Director of Apprenti, discusses how their program works with employers to quickly fill STEM positions with new and more diverse talent through inclusive apprenticeships.

Tips to help you ensure that your social media posts are accessible to everyone.

Henry Claypool, policy consultant for the American Association of People with Disabilities, discusses the potential impacts that autonomous vehicles may have in the workplace and other areas of life.

Tech companies are currently struggling to fill job openings because not enough prospective employees have accessible technology skills—and their products are less accessible as a result. Check out PEAT's latest research, and the actions we're taking to close the gap.

Beth Crutchfield and Jessie Haugh of Level Access discuss the accessibility issues that HR and workplace leaders should consider when using virtual and augmented reality as part of their hiring, recruiting, and retention processes.

Dan Ellerman, Inclusion and Diversity Senior Manager at Accenture, discusses the findings from their recent white paper "Amplify Accessibility," and the hows and whys of implementing the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Sassy Outwater-Wright, Director of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI), discusses why businesses should hire people with disabilities, and what it's like for jobseekers to encounter eRecruiting and HR technologies that aren't accessible.

Larry Goldberg of Oath (formerly Yahoo) and Kate Sonka of Michigan State University discuss how the Teach Access collaborative is helping leading tech companies and universities partner to ensure that the next generation of tech developers and designers learn to think and build inclusively. 

Find resources to get started with training staff across your organization in the accessibility skills relevant to their specific roles.

Jeff Bigham of Carnegie Mellon University discusses how computer scientists rely on crowdsourced testing to make technologies more accessible, and how the flexibility of crowd work intersects with growing opportunities in the gig economy for people with disabilities.

People with various permanent, temporary, situational, or changing disabilities access the web in different ways. Check out the following tips to ensure that everyone can use your website—regardless of whether they can manipulate a mouse, their level of vision, how many colors they can see, how much they can hear, or how they process information.

Researcher Martez Mott is working to create new touch interaction techniques for mobile technologies using machine-based learning. In this episode, he explains how this emerging technology will improve workplace technology with touch screens by allowing users with a range of motor abilities to customize their touch techniques.

Scott Wiseman and Joe Bielawski discuss how the gig economy is helping the government to staff up, push projects forward, and increase efficiency—and the opportunities this may offer to job seekers with disabilities.

Many accessibility consultants are available for hire to help build and fix accessibility issues, and to provide staff trainings.

As you build and refine your accessible technology initiative, you can find additional training resources and support for yourself and staff through the following professional development resources:

AccessU

This annual conference offers instructional courses in digital accessibility, including online sessions for remote attendees.

The following resources explore how you can weave accessibility and inclusion into your organizational culture.

Bobby Silverstein discusses the implications of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other laws related to accessible technology with respect to shifts to a gig or project-based workforce.

Jutta Treviranus, Director and Founder of the Inclusive Design Research Centre, discusses how to improve artificial intelligence systems so they can better serve everyone, including people with disabilities.

Cisco's Project Lifechanger started out as a volunteer pilot program, and is now helping to transform the company's hiring and employment programs. 

As part of our Future of Work series, PEAT has been exploring how coming technology and policy trends may impact people with disabilities at work. The following interview explores the growing gig or freelance economy.

Global accessibility leaders identified key strategies of making workplace technology accessible at this year’s Web for All Conference (W4A), which focused on “The Future of Accessible Work.” 

Self-driving cars show exciting promise to address existing barriers for people with disabilities traveling to and from work—as long as developers incorporate accessibility into these technologies from the start.

This national crowdsourcing event generated numerous ideas for PEAT and DOL to consider, from educating IT procurement staff to refreshing market research to synchronizing government action around tech accessibility.

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.

Although legal requirements can sometimes feel burdensome to employers, on the accessibility front they can be very helpful. The relevant 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. 

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