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US Department of Labor announces disability employment application challenge winners
$10,000 in prizes awarded for 3 innovative apps helping to improve employment opportunities and outcomes for people with disabilities
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor has announced the winners of the disability employment application challenge. The contest, launched in May, encouraged third-party developers to build tools to help improve employment opportunities and outcomes for people with disabilities using publicly available resources and employment data. The announcement was first made by Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis during a special Labor Day Twitter chat on Thursday, Aug. 30.
A panel of judges including Secretary Solis, Assistant Secretary of Education for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Alexa Posny, Deputy Commissioner of Social Security Carolyn Colvin, Craigslist Founder and Chief Executive Officer Craig Newmark and Assistive Technology Industry Association Executive Director David Dikter selected three winners, from nearly 20 submissions, that demonstrated innovation, usability and accessibility.
The "Access Jobs" application, available at https://accessjobs.devis.com, received the $5,000 Innovation Award by implementing techniques such as responsive design to deliver an accessible job search experience across all platforms. The site also utilizes an open-source job posting schema that is capable of pulling search results from multiple online sources.
The "VoisPal-Speak as You Think!" application, available at http://www.voispal.com, received the $3,000 People's Choice Award through a public voting process. The Augmentative and Alternative Communication app for Android phones is designed to help people with speech difficulties express themselves fluently and effectively using more than 5,000 commonly spoken sentences grouped in intuitive categories and sub-categories.
The "AccDC: Accelerated Dynamic Content" application received the $2,000 Above and Beyond Accessibility Award. This scalable, cross-browser and cross-platform compatible Dynamic Content Management System automates the rendering of dynamic content to ensure accessibility for screen reader and keyboard only users.
All three winners are invited to showcase their winning apps at the Federal Communications Commission developer event "Developing with Accessibility" in Washington, D.C., to be held Sept. 6-7. The Above and Beyond Accessibility Award winner also has been invited to showcase the accessibility of the winning app and discuss the future of the federal government and information and communication accessibility during a one-hour session hosted by high level federal leaders.
Additional details about the winners and all submissions are available online at http://disability.challenge.gov.