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.”
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 ASAN-PEATePolicyWorks.ideascale.com.
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 http://ow.ly/rp7PQ #a11y
#ODEP & @AutSelfAdvocacy hosting dialogue on #accessibility for people with cognitive #disabilities through 12/20 http://ow.ly/rp7PQ
What are the tech-related barriers to employment for people w/ cognitive #disabilities? Be heard, join the dialogue http://ow.ly/rp7PQ
Tags: accessibility, accessibility standards, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, cognitive disabilities, intellectual disabilities, IT accessibility, Kathy Martinez, ODEP, Office of Disability Employment Policy, Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology