The business of accessibility and workforce accommodation carries the stigma of a 'cost of doing business'. Public and private sector organizations have no meaningful incentive for hiring individuals with disabilities or investing in the business of accessibility. Why? Both are built upon litigious foundations: Civil Rights & Compliance. In order to shift that paradigm to a win-win scenario, organizations, especially ...more »
Successful support for workplace accessibility is contingent on a top-down business model -- specifically, an Accessibility Maturity Model. Most employers view accessibility and accommodation as something they must address in order to meet obligations. Accessibility done right is a way to cut costs, build capacity, and establish partnerships. Accessibility as a driver for innovation is an opportunity to learn what’s needed ...more »
The cheaper it is, the more places you'll be able to place it within a work center. It doesn't get cheaper than free.
Dragon naturally speaking is expensive; in some (but not all) cases users may use free software, such as dictation.io, or Google Voice, Firefox Hello
This may seem a little circular, but people often have unfounded fears or unfortunate preconceptions about disability. The only thing I have seen that works every time is to have real live people with disabilities, doing meaningful work, just like anybody else. Things can be a little awkward at first (tip: a little etiquette training helps) but eventually it's the person who is seen, not the disability. When you reach ...more »
In tandem with the "accessibility policy" idea, an organization needs to foster and nurture accessibility champions, starting with leadership. Leaders need to understand why accessibility is critical for their organization and have the tools to create and support an effective accessibility policy. Then additional champions need to be identified and nurtured throughout the organization. They need to have the training, ...more »
I believe a disabled individual should figure out ways to do tasks independently or more efficiently in their home. Then, take those skills to the workplace. I am an employed disabled quadriplegic with minimal hand functioning. I have seen and used some incredible assistive technology that has enabled me to do something that I previously could not do or the technology made me more time efficient. But, there is a need ...more »
User the WebAIM surveys to see how users are using different technology as assistive technology, and align purchases and support accordingly.
Much of the world is on a digital platform now, and some companies are more friendly than others when it comes to making their software accessible. There is more to assistive technology than the formal screen readers such as JAWS or NVDA, or Dragon-Naturally speaking. Many of the Apple products have a fantastic version of free screen-reading capability embedded in them (Voice Over), there are free applications available ...more »
Thank you so much for this very important conversation. I think that one way to increase awareness is simply to document someone using assistive technology in the workplace, as a video. When people see how hard it is, I find that most are affected, and try to do anything in their power to help out. Watching a video of someone using JAWS, or Dragon Naturally Speaking to get the job done is very eye-opening, and I recommend ...more »
I am writing on behalf of a friend with multiple disabilities, his input is below: Once, he applied for a job as a ticket-taker at a theatre. He was asked if he could tear the tickets from the stub. He replied that he could, but it might not be a perfectly clean rip. He was told he could not do the job. Consider a very small accommodation of just having a small jig or weight by which he could place a ticket, and ...more »
I am writing on behalf of a friend with disabilities, his ideas are below:
Because of their health, many with disabilities can't work without taking breaks. This is often at odds with much of the software applications they have to work with, which automatically times them out if they have been away too long. It is very hard to get back in and work again.
I am writing on behalf of a friend with multiple disabilities.
The application process is problematic, in that those with disabilities need a way to give an employer an honest heads up without fear of discrimination. Perhaps a confidential area that could be checked, and masked during a review session of qualifications, but exposed when it is time for interviews so that the employer can accommodate.