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Findings from the Making it Happen: Increasing Awareness of Accessible Workplace Technology Online Dialogue

April 13, 2017
Source: Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT)

The following report outlines the results of the ePolicyWorks online dialogue, “Making it Happen: Increasing Awareness of Accessible Workplace Technology.” Hosted by the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT), a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) technical assistance center, this virtual effort was comprised of two dialogue periods, one invitation-only and one open to the public.

The first dialogue period, held from May 10, 2016 through June 10, 2016, targeted leading technologists and accessibility experts who attended the PEAT Roundtable discussion held at the 2016 CSUN Conference in San Diego, California. This online dialogue was essentially a follow-up to the Roundtable meeting, offering a way for attendees to continue the conversation on the need to increase awareness around issues regarding the development, use, and promotion of accessible technologies in all aspects of employment. Dialogue participants were encouraged to respond to the question: “In what ways can the U.S. Department of Labor help to increase awareness of the need for accessible workplace technology?”

The private virtual forum generated numerous ideas for PEAT and DOL to consider, from educating IT [information technology] procurement staff to refreshing market research to synchronizing government action around tech accessibility. In total, 87 people registered for the dialogue, with 20 active participants. The event garnered 13 original ideas, on which there were 69 comments and 74 votes.

Insights gathered from the first dialogue were then used to shape the public event, which launched on October 11, 2016 and continued through October 21, 2016, coinciding with National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).

This second dialogue invited the general public to expand upon the ideas that PEAT had already collected, and to share new ideas about the kinds of policies, programs, and structures organizations should have in place around accessible technology. The question participants responded to was modified from the first dialogue to ask: “What is the best way we can increase the adoption and use of accessible technology in the workplace?”

The public dialogue brought about ideas focused on accessible technology trainings and education, developing company-wide IT accessibility policies, and ensuring full workplace inclusion of people with disabilities. In total, 218 people registered, with 43 active participants. This virtual event resulted in 26 new ideas, on which there were 61 comments and 191 votes.

This report outlines key metrics from both the private and public dialogue events. The multitude of ideas gathered from both dialogues illustrates the value of collaboration and crowdsourcing with key stakeholders on issues related to accessibility. Such efforts are imperative to the development of policies and best practices to support the advancement of accessible technology in the workplace.

(Note: To read the full report, go to the following web page and scroll down. The report includes infographics, or data in a visual format. Web: )

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