Transcript of Introducing TalentWorks webinar with PEAT Project Director Josh Christianson and Lead Strategic Consultant Joiwind Ronen held in April 2016.
Good afternoon everybody. It's 2:00 o'clock so we're going to go ahead and get started. Hello, and welcome to our webinar today, introducing the new PEAT resource TalentWorks. We're very excited you've joined us. My name is Josh Christianson. I'm the project director of PEAT, and I'm joined today by Joiwind Ronen, who has been involved with PEAT in a variety of roles for a few years now and played an instrumental role in developing TalentWorks, and she will be giving us a tour of the resource a little bit later.
Before we get started, I want to do a little housekeeping and go over some logistics. We will have time for question-and-answer, so please enter your questions in the chat window, or you can e-mail it at email@example.com; that's firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also use that e-mail address and e-mail us. If you're having any technical difficulties we can try to assist you there. You can download the presentation on peatworks.org, and we will have an archived recording that will be posted online following today's event as well.
Finally, we're hoping to have some interaction and engagement with all of you online, so we'll be using the polling function. So please be prepared to jump in when we have a few polling questions. If you're experiencing any issues at all around the accessibility of them, test them, they should be good. But you can also — I'll read them out — you can chat your answers into the window and we'll fill it in for you. So let's go ahead and get started.
Some of you may be new to PEAT. Others may be long-time network members but I want to give a little overview. PEAT stands for the Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology. It is and agreement funded by the Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy or ODEP. It's been around for a few years, and we have our mission that we're working towards, which is basically to advance the employment and retention of people with disabilities by the promotion and adoption of accessible technology, and we will speak a little bit more to that generally shortly.
PEAT is — I'm not going to go over everything today because we're going to focus on TalentWorks, but I want to encourage you all to go to peatworks.org and check out the material we have, the resources. By and large, PEAT Works uses our portal and our website to promote our resources and they're free, and we look forward to developing with you, so check them out as we focus on TalentWorks today, but there are others. Sign up for our newsletter. Give us feedback. We're always looking to develop and improve our website.
To get us started, I want to jump into a poll so we're going to use our first participant poll. You should be able to click on the website and answer it. I'll read it out, and, again, if you have any difficulty you can chat your answer in the window. But the poll question is, "As an employer or an employee, where have you experienced successful technology issues in the workplace?' Options for answers are recruiting, hiring and onboarding, work immersion and productivity, career advancement, retention, and, finally, post-employment and retirement.
We see some of the numbers coming in. You can also click on the above if this does not relate to you. Seeing some of the numbers come in. Thanks for participating. It looks like hiring onboarding has the most, followed closely by work immersion and productivity, as well as recruiting. So we're seeing a lot of these through the reporting at beginning of the employment life cycle, which is a lot of what we're going to talk about today. So that's helpful to us, and good information, and thank you all for polling. We'll be using a bit more of these throughout the event today.
So I know we know from the RSVP list there are a variety of attendees that we see. But we do see a lot of employers, and I want to be clear that today we will be focusing our attention to employers. We welcome any and all questions, but much of this and the resource itself is really geared towards our employer audience. So when PEAT started, we really looked at the employment lifecycle. We're focused on the employee and the experience of the employee, so we looked at the employer lifecycle and defined it.
On the screen now is a picture of the six stages that we just outlined in the question on the poll, and we wanted to find out — explore where successful technology played a role in each of these stages. And we started with some assumptions. We really broke our audience down to three target audiences; the employee, the employer, and technology providers. And for the employee, we know — our assumption was that the Internet basically serves as a gateway to employment in today's marketplace. That is your starting point. That is your access, your networking, your application, and even the technology used once you're on the job. It really is the primary tool used by employees.
For employers, we know it's important because they want to widen their talent pool. They want to get the best talent available and meet their recruitment and compliance goals. For technology providers, we assume that they want to meet the market demands for accessible products. And we know lots of our partners are in the midst of developing that and meeting that demand. So with this and the employment lifecycle in mind as a starting point as a starting point, we started to talk to our partners, people in the network. We talked to a lot of large employers, to disability group at the advocacy organizations, to developers and technology providers about accessible workplace technology.
And through interviews and research, we started to see that there was a lot to be had, a lot of work cut out for PEAT, if we're going to promote accessibility workplace technology. There were many places we could start and kind of deal with our work at hand. And I'll give you some of the top findings.
So when we talked to these folk, we came away with a few learning takeaways that really guided our next steps in work and eventually the development to TalentWorks itself. First is there's huge awareness issue, and we heard that recently at a roundtable discussion we had at [indiscernible]. People say there's just a lack of awareness of accessible accessibility and what it means to employees.
Secondly, there was an issue around compliance versus usability mindset. Some people were buying products, said it was accessible. They checked the box and they're done, versus really making sure that employees have what they need to succeed in the job and making sure that it's usable to people of diverse ability.
Another big takeaway was just, you know, employers, at best, they were thinking about the technology, all the statistics involved and the cost of that and it being a rather unwieldy and unmanageable process that maybe they didn't want to touch in the first place. And that leads to the next bullet, which is complexity. There was a feeling that this is overly complex, that maybe it's hard to do, that people don't know about accessibility, which isn't necessarily the case, but that's definitely what we were hearing and finding.
And then related to the last couple of bullets, one is, you know, complexity of systems, sometimes there's customization, people buy a product that's accessible but maybe they tweak it for their company colors or logos, that's breaking it, maybe it's interoperability issues, but we heard that from many folks. And finally inadequate testing. Last week — last month, PEAT had a webinar about user testing. It's crucial and gets at the usability issues. And we discovered that there's definitely inadequate testing when thinking about workplace technology and its accessibility.
So all this really made us pause and realize there was an ocean to boil out there. But before we got too much further in what PEAT was going to provide and use and collaborate on, we wanted to get the perspective of the user. And so thinking back to the employment lifecycle, we really focused on the very beginning. We looked at the job search and application process and we brought in the user voice via survey.
So we put together a survey, and with partnership, it's allowed us and several organizations, got the word and we did a nationwide survey and people that self-identified as a person with a disability who had applied for a job online in the last year. We had, I think, almost 500 responses, that varied, which really informed our work and showed us where some of the pitfalls were, where some of the biggest challenges are, and I'm going to share a few high-level things just to set up the stage for TalentWorks.
So one of the first findings was that social media was and continues to be a huge part of the job search process. So on the slide here it talks about half respondents using social media as part of their job search process, and over a third of those folks said they experienced accessibility or usability issues when using social media. I am happy to say many of you might have seen Twitter just a day or two ago release, that they've made some gains and strides in making that platform work successful to their images, so that's great, and will hopefully help and get that number a little bit lower of people experiencing. But that's definitely a growing trend of people using social media, and it's not always accessible to folks.
The second big takeaway when looking at the application process itself, on our survey, which, again are kind of probably tech savvy people that self identify and found their way to our survey, and we had almost half rate that experience of applying for a job as difficult to impossible. In discussing this with people, we've heard numbers that are higher, but this is what we found our survey, and that's way too high as it is. And of those, 9% were unable to complete the application itself and 24 required assistance. So we're losing talent. People are dropping off. They're unable to apply in the application process, which obviously is something that needs to be addressed.
The last big takeaway I'll point out — and there are many more we could look at, and I'll tell you about the report in a minute. The last one is so, you know, they've researched and had some issues. They've tried to apply; people have had some issues. And increasingly common is this notion we found of pre-employment testing. We weren't even really aware of this, but we, through participation and HR conferences and hearing from the users more and more people were citing pre-employment testing as an issue. So this is after the application process. Maybe it's a test about personality. Maybe it's trying to find out your skills or even more and more gamification being used. But this is really to figure out who is going to be brought in for interviews after the application process.
And so we had almost 70% say they were asked to complete it, and of those, 40% said they experienced difficulties or were unable to complete the test. And so, you know, they may have been able to search, they may have been able to apply, and then they're kind of thwarted again due to the pre-employment testing. And this is an increasing trend. This is only being used more and more in the workplace today. So it's in the area that we address, and we'll talk about later in TalentWorks. So on with this with information.
The last point I'll make before handing it over is we released a report, and the one on the screen now is just an infographic, and you can find all of this accessible on our website and a full report of the survey if you want to learn more about what was asked and what was said. And that really led to the development of TalentWorks, which is why we're here today, and we're super excited to talk about. So I will stop there and pass off to Joy Wynn [ph], who has been integral to both the survey and the developmental of TalentWorks resource to give you all a guide before we go to question and answer. Thank you, Joy Wynn [ph].
Thanks, Josh. I am going to take a second here to share my screen and make sure this is all working. It doesn't look like my screen is showing up yet, so let's take a minute here. Okay, it looks like we're here. I have gone to peatworks.org/talentworks. And if you go to just the regular website on peatworks.org, it's one of the main icons on the front page, or you can put in the /talentworks.
So we are really excited to showcase TalentWorks here today. We officially launched it about two weeks ago. The deputy secretary of the Department of Labor, Chris Lu, announced it at the CSUN conference in California, and since that time, about two weeks ago, we've had almost 3,000 hits to the website. So a lot of people are coming and viewing it and interacting with the free source, and we are really excited to tell you about it today and hope that you'll spend some time and go online as well.
As Josh mentioned, TalentWorks is really a reflection of what we heard. So through the polling works and the surveys and the interviews, we tried to identify what were some the big issues, and we, through TalentWorks, tried to tackle them head first, straight on, and give you the resources you need to overcome some of the issues that have occurred in the past.
So some of the things that we're excited about in TalentWorks is we tried to make this resource not just kind of a stale one-way communication. We tried to make it very interactive, and we did that in a variety of ways. So, first of all, we're presenting the content in multiple forms. We have video available throughout the website. We have tip sheets. We also have PDFs. Almost every tip sheet, if you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you can download it as a PDF, so if you want to share with the your HR team or with the CEO of your company, those resources are available in multiple ways. And I talked about interactions. That's another key component of the website. So I'm going to start moving through the website and showing you some of the interactions.
So on each page we have a left-hand navigation that takes you through the website. In the middle we have the primary content of the page, and then on the right we have the featured resources. So on this page you'll see we have a welcome video, we have a link to the report that Josh mentioned, and then we also have some information on employment lifecycle.
You'll also see on most pages we have a poll on the left. Now I've already taken this poll, so it's showing me the results, as you can only take the poll once. But once the results come forward, if you click on "View for results," you can actually see, in full detail, the number offal people that have voted for each, and the total number of responses. So we've had 42 submissions here. And this is the same question that Josh asked you earlier on, about what part of the employment lifecycle do you see the most accessibility issues, and it pretty closely mirrors the results that you all gave. It's really most prevalent at the beginning of the employment lifecycle in recruiting, hiring, and onboarding.
So back to the interactivity features, on each page we also have, if you look at the right-hand side, we have feedback buttons that allow you to give us feedback real time. You can also share all these pages through your social media networks. You also, at the bottom of each page, you can vote up or down as to whether the information you received on the page was useful, if the information isn't useful, if I were to vote "No," you can actually share your feedback with us and tell us what other information we could be providing to you.
Additionally, at the bottom of each page, you will see that there are ways for you to share your own information, and I will showcase those a little bit more later on about how you can join the conversation with us.
So I'm going to take you into the first part of TalentWorks, which is really about e-Recruiting and accessibility. And what we have in this section of the website is really some the framing and contextual conversations that employers have in the workplace. So those are things such as, you know, what is the return on investment of having your e-Recruiting tools be successful, you know, how you actually buy accessible tools, and then what are some of the policies and regulatory issues involved in accessibility?
And I'll take you into those pages in a little bit more detail, but first I want to start by showing you a video, and this will give you an idea of what some of the resources are like. This is a video by one of our team members, Corrine, who talks about the difference of team accessible technology and system technology. And the reason I'm choosing to play this is, this is one of the most frequent questions we get, which is can't someone just use their assistive technology and won't that be enough for them to be successful in the workplace. So I'm going to let her answer that question in her own words. And you will notice it's going to be captioned twice here on your screen. It will be captioned on the video, and then we also have real-time captioning happening as well.
I'm Corrine Weible. I'm the project manager PEAT at the partnership on assistive technology. PEAT is managed by RESNA, the Rehabilitation, Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America. RESNA is involved in the initiative because universal design is a big part of our mission, which is to improve access to people with disabilities through technology solutions. The question I get most often from everybody is what is the difference between accessible technology and assistive technology? And a large part of my role of each is helping employers develop first, and people with disabilities understand the differences between the two, and also how they complement each other.
Assistive technology is a technology that's specifically designed to help a person with a disability to perform a task; for example, a screen reader, a computer can help a person with a disability to read a job posting. Accessible technology is a technology that's been designed with a lot — with the needs of a lot of different users in mind. It's technology with built-in customization features so that the user can really individualize their experience to meet their needs.
Assistive technology alone will never guarantee access to people with disabilities, because things like, let's say, software, such as social use for e-Recruiting, they really must be designed with accessibility in mind for people to actually be able to use them. For more information:
So that was an example of the type of video resources that we have on the site throughout almost every page. In the right-hand column it will list a video resource.
I also want to take you to the buying accessible e-Recruiting products page, where we have a set of resources that help you, both talk to your vendors about accessibility and about what your needs are, and then also procurement language that helps you write RFPs and procurement so accessibility is taken into mind. That procurement language is really in Section 508, and we're currently waiting on the refresh, and so we are in the process of creating some new model language that will actually reference CAG [ph] 2.0. So that's a resource that will be coming the coming weeks that will add an additional layer of best practices around how to procure accessible technology. And with that, I want to ask Kristin to put up our next poll, which is really around this issue.
So the question of the poll is, "Does your organization have a plan in place to make sure that buying technology so that it's accessible to job applicants and employees with disabilities?" And the options are, "Yes, no, or I'm not sure."
So it looks like we're running kind of half and half here, with about half the organizations do have a plan in place for buying accessible technology, and half don't. So I really encourage those people that don't have them to visit our website and use some of that procurement language and share it with your purchasing or acquisition team to really ensure that before something is even bought, and when the requirements are being sought, that those get put in at the beginning of the process.
Now I'm going to move into, really, the meat of TalentWorks, which if you click on "Make your recruiting tools accessible," we've broken those down into three sections, and they really mirror the poll results that Josh mentioned earlier, around talent sourcing, pulling applications, and pre-employment testing.
So the first one is talent sourcing, so I'm going to click right into the talent sourcing page, and I'm going to show you here that we have a list down the middle of the page of all the different thing that is you can do, things like prescreening simple and accessible job descriptions. This was a big issue over and over, is the lack of the use of plain language, and that's an issue kind of across the board, not just an accessibility issue, but we give some guidance on using plain language. We also give guidance on how to create accessible Microsoft Word documents and Adobe PDF documents. So those are great resources for your HR team in how to make those accessible.
Another issue that we heard about over and over again was resume uploading and having kind of a consistent format of making that available. We know that a lot of employers are using LinkedIn and allow for you to just feed in your LinkedIn resume without having to cut and paste. So we also give some guidance on simplifying on a resume uploading.
We also have a video here that goes into more detail around the specific social media platforms, and walks through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and really gives us guidance on how you can make those accessible, because so many people, that's the first entry point and that's where they're searching for jobs. And then once they search for a job, they might move over to one of those social media platforms, to physically LinkedIn, to apply for that job. So I encourage you to read some of the guest blogs we have there and to watch some video on social media accessibility.
The next page I'm going to take you in is to online applications, and this is really the heart of the issue is once you look for the job and then you go and you apply for a job online. So I'm going to start with a poll to get your feedback on what you think some of the issues are. So the poll asks, "What do you think is the biggest barrier to making online job applications accessible to people with disabilities?" And the options include "lack of awareness, perceived cost, inadequate testing, interoperability, or other."
So this one, it looks like we have a clear — a far away winner, which is lack of awareness. And Josh mentioned that when we were out at CSUN, we met with about 50 leaders, mostly of large companies, places like AT&T and Microsoft and Google and Comcast. And the deputy secretary was there to facilitate the conversation, and asked the question, "What is the number one issue that your companies see around why things continue to be inaccessible?" And by and large, the overwhelming response there as well was lack of awareness. So we really hope that TalentWorks will be one way that we can increase awareness about this issue, but we would really welcome your feedback for other creative ideas about how we can raise this issue, in addition to providing the resources that help address some of the issues.
So I'm going to put away the poll right now, and I'm going to go back to the online site, and I'm going to show you that I'm scrolling down through the page, and we show a bunch of the different issues, but one thing I really like that we added here was we have specific examples where we show you what it should look like and how to fix the issues around inaccessible form fields, keyboard navigation, untagged images in the graphics. So we get very specific there. So not only is this a resource for employers, but it's also something the you can share with your technology team so they have an idea of how to actually address this issue. And I think once they see the examples they'll see that it's not that hard to make things accessible. You just need to know where you should be headed.
So the next thing I want to do is I'm going to show you a video by Jay Wyant, who is part of — he's one of our advisors and part of our PEAT think tank, and he's going to share some advice about making, specifically, the applications more accessible.
My name is Jay Wyant. I am the chief information accessibility officer in the State of Minnesota [indiscernible], and my role is to work with all the state agencies and simplify IT to make sure we're delivering accessible, usable technology for both our employees and our public. People are just trying to find jobs online with regard [indiscernible] with regard to accessibility. One is the technology itself, and the other is the process; so, for example, with the online application itself, or is the online application accessible?
Major concerns are [indiscernible] timing out, [indiscernible] and you have problems working on part if the document and it timed out and there's no way to recover it. Other issues are keyboard accessibility. Very often the upload process for example, say you upload your resume here, it has to be done with [indiscernible]. We need to make that keyboard accessible.
We'll go through a number of issues, like those regarding the online application process, an important matter for people with disabilities. Or if we upload a copy of resume, sometimes the uploading with the copy of resume don't make it very easy do particularly (indiscernible) resume and you upload it to an unformatted space, and then you have to go in and re-clean everything. And for some people that can be very difficult to do.
Way too many [indiscernible] video process. Too many people video that they can put the video and be done with it or recaptioning [indiscernible]. So videos are [indiscernible] in terms of how making informational video, videos of how to apply for a job, all those kinds of videos. They need these better (indiscernible) well taken care of.
For more information on the partnership on —
So that's another example of the type of resource that we have on the website, and I encourage you to go and watch some of those videos. We actually shot that one on location in Jay's office in the wintertime, which is pretty cool to be up in Wisconsin that time of year, so.
Oh, Minneapolis; you're right, Minneapolis.
So the last part to go through is pre-employment testing. So I'm going to click on the pre-employment testing page. And Josh had mentioned that this was really an area that we were surprised with just the prevalence of how often pre-employment testing is happening and kind of the use of it to weed out candidates in the process.
So I want to put up our final poll here, and I just want to confirm with the folks here, if they're seeing this being used in their workplace. So the question is, "Does your company use online pre-employment testing as part of the hiring process?" And the options are, "yes, no, or I'm not sure."
So it looks like it's about half and half, where it looks like — well I would say some people say, yes, and there's a lot of people that aren't sure whether or not they're using it, because they may have been in the job a while. But I encourage you to find out more in the workplace, see if your employer is using pre-employment testing and make sure that they're thinking about accessibility there too.
The reason this is such a big issue is because this is a new space, there's a lot of start-up companies in the space, and so as they get acquired by some of the bigger, for example, applicant tracking systems, they may be moving into a suite of software, and while the suite of software might be accessible overall, this particular component may not be accessible, so it's really an important piece to flag and make sure that your team is looking at that.
So I'm going to go ahead and wrap up, and I want to show you all that when you look down the left-hand navigation of the website or if you go — you manually go to the last navigation pane, there's something called the "TalentWorks resource library." So you can navigate the website sequentially going through phase by phase or you can just start out after the TalentWorks library. And what you can do is you can select a category. So you might say, "What I'm really interested is talent sourcing," so you might scroll down and say, "I want all resources related to talent sourcing." And then you do a quick search, and this will show you that we have a video, we have a tip sheet, and we have two different tip sheets. So this will show you this there's three resource.
So, again, there are multiple ways to navigate this page or the resource overall. The other thing that I really want to encourage you to do is at the bottom of each page there's the opportunity to join the conversation, so I'm scrolling down to the very bottom here, and it says "Join the TalentWorks conversation." And you'll notice that what we want to do is we want to make this website more than just our resources. We want to include your tips too, and your best practices. So one of the first things you can do is you can submit a resource.
One of the things we heard at our think-tank session is that each company is kind of building their accessibility practice alone, and it would be great if, you know, AT&T could learn from what Google is doing, and if a small business could learn from what Intuit is doing, and so forth and so on. So we would love to be a site where we collect different resources that can be distributed more widely, so we encourage you to submit a resource.
We also encourage you to share your success stories. Have you had a positive e-Recruiting experience yourself, or is your employer doing a really good job in this area? We've actually had a few companies approach us and say, "We think that we made a lot of progress, and we'd like to share our success and see if people agree, or if they have advice for us on how to be even more successful.
And then finally, we'd like you to submit ideas. One idea that we missed are what are trends that maybe we haven't seen, and go to what ideas would you like to share with this audience. So I encourage you to get involved and to share your feedback. And one area where we're really looking for feedback is what to do next. So we've started at the beginning of the employment lifecycle and we focused on the e-Recruiting process.
There are five other stages of the employment lifecycle, and where would you like to see us focused. Maybe it's very specific. Maybe there is a system like a learning management system or content management system. Maybe there are things that make up a big part of your day in the workplace, where you would really suggest that PEAT focuses its time and energy to get the resources out there. So I encourage you to use your chat window and to share that feedback with us, either here on the webinar, or you can submit it through the website, or you can send us an e-mail at the e-mail address that Josh mentioned before, which is email@example.com.
So that is my comprehensive introduction to TalentWorks. I hope you're all excited as we are. And I think we're going to move on to question-and-answers.
Yes. And thanks for that comprehensive, that was a lot. There's still a lot more on the site. We really want to encourage people to check it out, ask questions, add to it so we can improve it as we go along. We do not, as she mentioned, expect us to be static, but to ever, ever evolved. We really want people to get in there and tell us what would be more useful.
We're going to have some time for question-and-answer, and you can use the chat function. We have some folks that are putting in the comments, which are awesome. They're basically a lot of what we learned, so people talking about having proven sites, you know, that kind of pre-employment testing. That is on the rise, unfortunately, and they're often smaller, maybe start-up companies that don't always necessarily take accessibility into issues, so we've seen that a lot. People talking about timing out and being a main issue on applications; that's definitely one of the major findings we discovered and you can read about in the report that I referenced.
But I also want to include this time, if people have questions, continue to share resources. But if you have questions at all for the community, for us, we have a few minutes.
So I see a question here around timeout, so I'm going to read the question. It says, "A simple issue that creates huge difficulties is the timeout issues with many of the online applications. Very few people with disabilities sometimes cannot do anything about" something about it being slower and sometimes it's just being slower is enough for them to get kicked out of the system.
So this is something we heard time and time again, and I'd say it's the top three issues that we've heard. And so it's definitely something that we make specific suggestions on.
One of the issues around timing out, though, is how do you balance that with security? So a lot of companies keep the time short so that you don't have security issues. And so we encourage companies to think about what is the longest amount of time they can have it open, or alternatively, is there a way to have logins so that if it does time-out your information isn't lost and that you can return to it at any point in time. So thank you for that question. That is a big issue that we've seen.
Thank you. There's another question that popped up, just asking generally about TalentWorks. Is there a set of guidelines or some kind of software to test credibility? There are sites that have some baseline tests, and many companies that could help you with the testing of your accessibility. But TalentWorks is really leading practices. These are really, based on the survey, what we found were the most difficult pain points that users are experiencing, and the best set of resources and practices that we've seen that can help accompany — make their e-Recruiting more accessible. So I guess it's more in the line of guidelines, but it's really an evolving resource to share with folks.
And I am going to say that you go to e-Recruiting and accessibility on the TalentWorks website and you go to "Buying accessible e-Recruiting products," we do have a section on testing, and we also have some links in there for outside organizations that you can look to to help test the accessibility of your website.
Thank you. There was another question that came in. I'll just look towards closing up and, you can feel free to keep these questions coming. But do we interface or partner with other organizations that have similar objectives or submissions to accomplish with business? Yes, we definitely do. Being part of the Department of Labor and ODEP, we work with other TA centers. She references Jay in there. And we're actually increasingly kind of seeing how we can better collaborate and better serve and share resources, and so we do. And I would say we're all looking to do that more.
PEAT is really based on collaborations and partnerships, and so we have some and we develop others, but if people have ideas or see a place that PEAT could be supportive or support other organizations, please reach out, be in touch, share information, because I really think that's the way we develop resources and achieve our mission, is by partnering and discussing with more folks.
There's some really good information on here, some specifics around issues, around toggling. I want to take this moment to plug more PEAT resources that are coming up that really address this issue specifically. So every month, the first Thursday of every month, we have a Twitter chat you could find at the hashtag PEATTalks, two T's, P-e-a-t-t-a-l-k-s to find us on our accounts at PEAT Works.
And this month we're going to be discussing, really, online recruiting and hiring systems, and we're going to have a very well known developer Denny Kudrow [ph], who will be joining us, and we're going to get our community together to ask questions, share resources and answers around how your developers, your IT teams, your tech providers can really implement some best solutions.
And we are doing the Twitter chat, which is the first Thursday of every month too. So that's going to be this Thursday, April 7th, at 2:00 Eastern. It's just 30 minutes, so don't wait too long to join. And we use that information, the resources, the questions, to inform our monthly webinar series we call "PEAT Talks." And that is the third Thursday of every month.
So on April 21st, at 2:00 p.m., we're going to have Denny Kudrow [ph] come on and give a presentation, really, about why accessible e-Recruiting tools are important and the simple steps that web developers and designer can take to ensure that job seekers with disabilities are not excluded from employment opportunities.
So we have some good comments and participation up here on what companies should be doing, and we're going to that a bit further, so if you have your developer friends, designers, please send them our way, and make sure they participate in the webinar.
We had a question come in around awareness, mentioned that awareness is a problem. Does that mean awareness for the employer or the applicant? We've heard it maybe both, by and large, for the employer. That employers and especially our shop may not be aware of the technology issues that they need to be overall — sorry HR, people — much less around accessibility. So we've heard awareness mostly like people not even being aware of this issue or how to resolve it.
So we've been at some HR and technology conferences, and we hear people say, "You know, we want the widest talent pool possible. We want to hire people with disabilities, but they just showing up in our applicant pool." And so that's when we help raise awareness, well there could be reasons why they're not showing up in your applicant pool, and it could be because your tools are inaccessible. And for a lot of folks, they see a light bulb go on, because it's the first time they've thought about that. And so I think the awareness is really asking the employer to be at the leadership level, that it's not an issue. And then we see it in the HR shops, that the awareness isn't there, and then that filters down to the IT team and to the purchasing team.
We've also heard from developers and designers around this issue when we have engaged, that it's not an issue there, because the technology isn't hard. Technically it isn't that difficult to make things accessible. And so it's really about making sure that the people that are programming are aware of accessibility, and that's another area that PEAT works and continues to work. We're actually co-hosting a hackathon with Google at the Web for All/World Wide Web conference, and we're really trying to bring in developers and designers and programmers that may not be part of the accessibility crowd, or the choir, we sometimes call it, and make them aware of accessibility as an issue. And there are many other initiatives going.
Teachaccess.org is really making a push to get the skill sets of accessibility as part of their recruitment process, so they're getting the programmers in there. Also IAAP has a new certification program, and so there is lots of a push to make accessibility awareness issue on multiple levels, including with developers.
I see there's a couple other people typing. We have time for another question or two, if people have them. We can, of course, follow up with questions. We will send out a quick survey after this, that you can add questions as well that we could follow up on. But we've got time for another question or two if people have questions.
So we did see some information come in around AT assessment tools, and there's a specific one called "Matching person's with technologies," and this looks like a really interesting kind of approach, and it looks like it creates a measurable set of standards. So I appreciate that you sent that information to us, and maybe we can take the conversation offline and explore that further. So thank you for adding it.
And Rebecca just wrote kind of a follow up maybe a little bit kind of to William's question around the employer expecting — expecting and employee to know what technology they need, and so that's kind of getting at the employee and awareness. And we've heard that a lot, and we've heard about a need for education. We've asked the organization's employees can make sure they can really be their own best self-advocate so that the employee and the employer have some onus around what technology would be most useful, what they need to be successful and thrive in the workplace. So the employer could provide that and allow them to do so.
So I think we're going to wrap it up, but I want to mention — I want to reference one of the comments here, where somebody shared with us that they think that we really need to encourage software providers to make things more accessible, because those things are not accessible.
And I do want to share a story, and I hope they don't mind us calling them out like we did at CSUN. But a year ago, we did a presentation. We were just beginning to think about TalentWorks, and we had somebody from Oracle in the audience. And a lot of folks in the room said, you know, we have Oracle products like Layout, and we don't believe them to be accessible. And because of that conversation, Oracle went back and spent the last year really working on this issue. And they came back to CSUN this year and reported all of the many gains and strides that they had created. And so we feel particularly proud of, you know, making those connections for a large company like Oracle, and we're working hard to do that with other vendors as well.
So if you want to put us in touch with anybody, you know, on your list of products that you wish could be more accessible, we're happy to do that. Or you can send them to TalentWorks to learn a little bit more about the work that we're doing.
Great. Well if we don't have anymore questions, thank you for other resources that are being shared in the chat, specifically around assistive technology programs, so check that out. If we don't have any more questions, I think we'll end a little bit early. That gives you all time to go to TalentWorks.org, check out our other resources and TalentWorks itself — excuse me peatworks.org/talentworks. We really would love you do sign up and be involved.
And I'll close with just making a plug, once again to join us at our Twitter chat this Thursday at 2:00 p.m. Eastern, and especially our PEAT Talk, which is really relevant to this topic, which is Thursday, April 21st, at 2:00 Eastern, talking about making e-Recruiting tools accessible, more geared towards the designer, developer, and programmer perspective, as opposed to the employers we targeted today.
But thank you so much for your joining in the course, for your input and information, and we will follow up with you all soon. Have a great day.