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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ODEP News Release: [03/13/2014]
Contact Name: Bennett Gamble or Laura McGinnis
Phone Number: (202) 693-4667 or x4653
Email:
Gamble.Bennett@dol.gov or McGinnis.Laura.K@dol.gov
Release Number: 14-0428-NAT

Join the conversation for change on social media accessibility

Online dialogue to seek ideas for improvements for persons with disabilities

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy and the National Council on Disability invite the public to participate in a virtual town hall dialogue, "Advancing Accessibility and Inclusion in Social Media — The User Experience," which will examine the accessibility barriers of social media for individuals with disabilities, including jobseekers and workers. This crowdsourcing event will take place from Monday, March 17, to Friday, April 4, and it will be the first in a series of three social media accessibility online events taking place over the next three months.

"Social media is transforming how we engage with customers, employees, jobseekers and other stakeholders," said Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy. "But when social media is inaccessible to people with disabilities, it excludes a sizeable segment of our population. This online dialogue will help us pinpoint social media accessibility barriers, and discover new solutions for ensuring these digital services can be used and optimized by everyone."

"The National Council on Disability is privileged to co-host this online dialogue with ODEP as part of an ongoing collaboration between federal agencies and private-sector companies invested in the social media space," said Janni Lehrer-Stein, chairperson of access and integration for NCD. "We anticipate that this online discussion will present new and exciting opportunities for Americans with disabilities and people around the world. Social media opens up a new marketplace of ideas and access for everyone, including people with disabilities, adding value and providing new opportunities through inclusive engagement in the virtual world."

The conversation will explore the value of social media in the lives of people with disabilities, particularly around work, and identify accessibility issues and creative approaches to making social media tools more accessible and usable. Participants will be able to discuss their social media experiences and submit ideas, comments and vote on potential solutions. The information gathered from this dialogue will then help NCD and ODEP further collaborate with the social media industry to implement solutions.

The national dialogue is being coordinated under ODEP's ePolicyWorks initiative. To register, visit http://NCD-ODEP.SocialMedia.ePolicyWorks.org.