Transcript: Nathan Cunningham Discusses the Top Emerging Workplace Trends Impacting People with Disabilities

PEAT asked Nathan Cunningham, Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy, What emerging workplace trends or technology do you think will have the biggest impact on people with disabilities in the next five years? What do you see as possible accessibility concerns or solutions related to these coming trends?

You think about showcasing work settings to people before they actually…it can be a recruitment tool to showcase work settings to people before they actually come in and are hired or interested in working at the company but there are also a lot of accessibility challenges with these technologies, augmented reality and virtual reality. For example, we’re sort of discussing how the accessibility rubric that we have right now for technologies right now doesn’t apply to future technologies. The standards we have like WCAG standards, Section 508 standards, they don’t address some of the challenges of future technologies. So even though there’s a lot of promise for these sort of technologies there are pretty significant accessibility considerations that we are working on taking into account so that they don’t continue to perpetuate the exclusion of people with disabilities in these work settings.