Help Make Online Job Tools More Accessible to People With Intellectual Disabilities

Filed in Disabilities, DOL by on December 16, 2013 4 Comments

People with disabilities have significant challenges in life, but those challenges don’t have to be insurmountable − and certainly shouldn’t be when it comes to performing basic job duties or seeking employment. However, people with intellectual disabilities, cognitive issues, traumatic brain injuries or other similar disabilities may find that accessing the Internet and using online software programs pose a significant barrier to meaningful and successful employment.

Consider the fact that many employers now post “help wanted” ads online and communicate with prospective employees over the Internet. Also, while on the job, many employees are expected to be able to engage in online video conferencing, as well as access databases and record their work hours on timesheets that are housed in “the cloud.”

Kathy Martinez tests accessible technology

Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy, tests equipment at the International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, Feb. 28, 2013.

To address this, the Office of Disability Employment Policy is hosting an online dialogue about ways to make job-related technology more accessible and user-friendly to those with intellectual disabilities. While there are many accessibility standards for people with physical or sensory disabilities, there are fewer for people with cognitive disabilities.

Through the use of new crowdsourcing tools designed for accessibility and usability, participants will be able to share their own technology experiences and submit their ideas, comments and votes on potential solutions. This conversation has already begun, and will run through Friday, Dec. 20. Co-hosts include the Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology and the Autistic Self Advocacy Network.

To participate, visit

We hope that you will help shed light on current barriers to much-used technology in the workplace, and offer solutions so that we can begin to make working and job-seeking easier for people with intellectual and cognitive disabilities.

Join the Conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #a11y. Also, help us spread the word by posting the following on Twitter or Facebook:

Join the conversation! @AutSelfAdvocacy & #ODEP hosting online dialogue Dec 9-20 on IT accessibility for #PWD #a11y

#ODEP & @AutSelfAdvocacy hosting dialogue on #accessibility for people with cognitive #disabilities through 12/20

What are the tech-related barriers to employment for people w/ cognitive #disabilities? Be heard, join the dialogue


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Comments (4)

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  1. Cynthia Parkhill says:

    Online “social suitability” questions, i.e. “I keep my feelings to myself,” “It’s fun to go out to events with big crowds,” “You are unsure of yourself with new people,” “It is easy for you to feel what others are feeling,” “You are unsure of what to say when you meet someone,” “You do not like small talk,” “You know when someone is in a bad mood, even if they don’t show it,” etc., seem purposely designed to filter out traits and “deficiencies” associated with the autism spectrum.

    Use of these questions is more and more prevalent and, in my opinion, they fail to gauge my dependability, safety orientation, initiative, team orientation, ability to take direction or leadership. They do, however, place an unfair burden on me when competing with “neurotypical” applicants, who are able to anticipate which answer is “preferred” and purposely skew their selection.

  2. James says:

    It is the impact of advanced technology that enhance every person ability in better way. The fact is more concern with Government who offering the required need to people especially through social media set up. The win-win situation is after all done with good installation of Internet.
    Due to this the rise of Jobs increasing and people from any region able to earn the required livelihood.
    Ref –

  3. Target Lagu says:

    Nice articel for me sir .. thank’s you

  4. nice articel guys, thanks

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