ODEP works to increase the hiring, job success and career advancement of people with disabilities, including those who are from historically underserved groups. We promote the development, adoption and use of technologies designed with inclusion and accessibility at the forefront to create equitable outcomes for workers with and without disabilities.

Why Inclusive Technology Matters

All employees must have equal access to accessible workplace technologies that are flexible and robust. To truly be inclusive, these technologies must be designed by and with people with disabilities. From situational or temporary disabilities to environmental constraints, inclusive design makes using technology possible in the broadest range of scenarios.

Meet PEAT, ODEP's Technology-Focused Initiative The Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT)

The Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) helps to create a future where inclusive and accessible technology is standard in all workplaces. PEAT addresses the root issue by focusing on equity and fostering collaborations across industry, government and advocacy groups – designing and creating technologies with inclusion at the forefront and disabled people involved in every stage. In addition, PEAT creates robust resources that guide employers through each step of choosing accessible technology, implementing it and training staff on best practices.

PEAT's Focus Areas

Artificial Intelligence

PEAT has resources that show employers how artificial intelligence (AI) impacts disability inclusion at work, especially within the recruitment, selection and hiring processes. A few examples are:

  • AI & Disability Inclusion Toolkit – PEAT developed this Toolkit to help organizations navigate the potential risks of implementing AI technologies and to outline practices employers can adopt to try making AI implementations more equitable.
  • AI Think Tank Report – This report shares the findings from a PEAT virtual Think Tank on the use of AI tools in hiring.
  • Disability-Led Innovation Report – PEAT created this report based on interviews with innovators with disabilities who shared how inclusive AI can help organizations improve business outcomes and attract highly qualified job candidates from underrepresented groups.

Digital Accessibility

From hosting inclusive meetings to creating accessible materials, PEAT has resources to help everyone learn how to infuse their work with inclusion. Check out these topic areas to learn more:

  • Creating Accessible Materials – These resources share how to make digital materials, including documents and presentations, fully accessible.
  • Hosting Inclusive Meetings – These resources help organizations and individuals make virtual meetings accessible for all speakers and attendees.
  • Procuring Accessible Technologies – These resources explain how procurement teams can evaluate technologies to ensure the tools they acquire are inclusive.

Digital Equity and Broadband Access

Digital equity and reliable broadband internet access can create new opportunities for job seekers and workers with disabilities. Relevant PEAT resources include:

Extended Reality

In these resources, PEAT explains how extended reality (XR) tools, including virtual, augmented and mixed reality technologies, can create inclusive immersive workplaces. Select resources include:

Connect with PEAT

Stay current on inclusive technology topics through these PEAT channels:

New Federal Resources on Accessible Technology

digitalgovImproving the Accessibility of Social Media — Government agencies are increasingly using social media to engage with citizens, share information and deliver services more quickly and effectively than ever before. But as social content, data and platforms become more diverse, agencies must ensure these digital services are accessible to all citizens, including people with disabilities.

ODEP and the General Services Administration's (GSA) Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies recently updated their Improving the Accessibility of Social Media in Government Toolkit. Created with input from social media leaders and users across government and the private sector, this living document contains helpful tips, real-life examples and best practices to ensure that social media content is usable and accessible to all citizens, including those with disabilities.

New Section 508 Resources on Accessible Technology — GSA has also updated its Section 508 website. The site provides information and links to guidance, resources, tools, blog posts and articles focused on helping Federal agencies implement the requirements of Section 508 as they apply to the development, procurement and use of information and communication technology products and services.

Additional ODEP Resources on Accessible Technology

Technology as a Workplace Accommodation — ODEP's Job Accommodation Network (JAN) ODEP's Job Accommodation Network (JAN) provides information on exploring assistive technology as workplace accommodations in the JAN resource Accommodation and Compliance: Assistive Technology.

askearn.orgCreating an Accessible Workplace: Technological Accessibility — ODEP's Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) provides additional resources for employers on business strategies that incorporate accessible technology.

Roadmaps II for Enhancing Employment of Persons with Disabilities through Accessible Technology — This ODEP funded guide explains how accessible technology can help disabled people succeed in the workplace.

Additional Federal Resources on Accessible Technology

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Guidance Regarding Obligations Relating to Accessible Technology — The U.S. Department of Justice enforces the ADA to ensure that people with disabilities can access websites, electronic book readers, online courses and other technologies. This guidance will help you understand your obligations as they relate to accessible technologies.

Access Board Final Rule on Requirements for Information and Communication Technology under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 255 of the Communication Act — Section 508 Standards apply to electronic and information technology procured by the Federal Government, including websites, computer hardware and software and multimedia, such as video, phone systems and copiers. The Section 255 Guidelines cover access to telecommunications products and services and apply to manufacturers of telecommunication equipment.