When it comes to issues in the workplace, one of the biggest obstacles for people with disabilities is the lack of technology. People with disabilities often have different computer skills than other employees. While the Internet and mobile technology are useful for many, the most current technology that exists can sometimes make it difficult for people with disabilities to fully participate in their workplace. For example, smartphones can be misleading to people with vision or hearing impairments and don’t always allow them to access websites with their preferred screen size.
Last month, I wrote about how technology is leveling the playing field for people who have disabilities. As I noted in that post, individuals with disabilities often lose touch with the “mainstream” world because of societal perceptions and the lack of technology.
The workplace is often perceived as a “male dominated field”, and while this is a very narrow view, there is no denying it. Women are still underrepresented in the workforce, and for some reason, technology companies have not done a great job of hiring them.
Technology now plays such a significant part in almost every area of our lives that it is easy to take it for granted. However, for other people, this isn’t an option. Technology is what gives people the chance to live the life they want and deserve. Technology provides a doorway to completing activities, a tool for fostering creativity, and a route to involvement for people with impairments.
Businesses already have a legal responsibility to offer reasonable accommodations and consideration for disabled workers, but just following the letter of the law means missing out on chances for different thinking and contributions. Nearly one-fifth of all Americans with disabilities participate in the labor force. You may reap many advantages while also creating a better work environment for your workers by making the required expenditures to equip your company with better and contemporary accessibility technology.
Technology Upgrades That Make Your Office More Accessible
The first step is to discover the technologies that may help your company become more accessible. There are many useful office add-ons available nowadays.
The following are some of the most intriguing possibilities in assistive technology today:
- Microsoft’s SeeingAI is an assistive technology that recognizes things and people using machine learning and artificial intelligence. This gives the user audio explanations of what they’re looking at.
- IntelliGaze and other eye-tracking technologies enable people with limited movement and dexterity to utilize computers without the need of a conventional keyboard and mouse.
- Speech-to-text and vocal instructions for utilizing a computer are examples of voice recognition-based input methods.
Even simple technological advancements provide up possibilities for increasing your company’s accessibility. Using PDF software with built-in accessibility capabilities, for example, makes it easier to produce digital documents that workers with disabilities may simply process using their chosen assistive technology. Examining your whole technology suite to determine its effect on workers or customers with disabilities may uncover a plethora of possibilities for improvement.
Remote Work as a Means of Supporting Employees With Disabilities
One of the most significant developments to ever affect companies will occur in 2020: the realization of remote work’s full potential. Despite the fact that the transition was forced, it generated many new possibilities and allowed companies to realize the potential benefits of such a transformation. Remote work is a great method for companies to reach out to workers with impairments.
While providing new tools and technology to the office is important, so is embracing the possibilities that remote working tools provide. Many people with disabilities choose to work from home because they have easier access to accessibility equipment that they may not be able to carry to work. Allowing these people to join your team offers you additional flexibility and coverage around the clock.
The Advantages of Having a More Accessible Office
Why put in the time, effort, and money to make your company more flexible to remote work and disabled employees? You may gain many advantages by establishing an environment where people with impairments can flourish in the workplace. These are some of them:
- New and different viewpoints that may help with problem-solving and idea creation. Because of the unique solutions that a diverse collection of people may generate, diversity is rewarding in and of itself.
- Employee satisfaction and retention have improved. You can retain top talent and keep them happy by making it simpler for them to do everyday activities without having to struggle with products and technology that aren’t built with workers with impairments in mind.
- Non-disabled workers are more aware of impairments and have a better grasp of their effect. While this knowledge may not improve every area of your organization, it does help you develop a stronger corporate culture. Building a more varied team gives all team members a broader viewpoint, which may help to foster a strong feeling of team cohesiveness and mutual support.
Is It Time To Upgrade Your Office’s Accessibility?
With new technology always developing to enhance possibilities for people with disabilities, now is the time to consider if your company should invest in this area. You may provide your employees with exciting new possibilities, ranging from obvious benefits to a more accessible workplace.
As you consider how to make your firm more accessible to workers with disabilities, keep one thing in mind: although new technology may help create a more accessible environment, real inclusion begins with a company’s culture. It extends beyond technological investments to include aggressive recruiting attempts.
Embracing the unique views of diverse workers may result in wiser business choices as businesses examine ways to properly accommodate individuals with impairments.
How technology has enabled the developer of the new website to work in the way that they can. The website is called “betweenpages”, and it is a place where all different kinds of people can find people that have the same interests. The name “betweenpages” was chosen because it is a website that connects people that have the same interests.. Read more about accessibility of technology in education and let us know what you think.
This article broadly covered the following related topics:
- examples of accessible technology
- disability-friendly technology
- accessibility of technology in education
- accessibility in technology
- accessibility technology examples