ODEP - Office of Disability Employment Policy
Disability Employment Policy Resources by Topic
ODEP is working to increase the hiring, job success, and career advancement of people with disabilities through the development, adoption and promotion of accessible technology and universal design.
ODEP's Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT)
The Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT) works to foster collaboration and action on accessible technology in the workplace and all aspects of employment. Guided by a consortium of policy and technology leaders, PEAT works to help employers, IT companies and developers, and others understand why and how to build, buy, and implement accessible technology. The Partnership is committed to dialogue on accessible technology, developing useful resources and tools, and helping implement policies that promote the accessibility of workplace technologies.
PEAT's web portal offers a central hub of online resources and opportunities for collaboration to employers, IT companies, and technology users, including:
- PEAT eNews, a lively and informative bimonthly eNewsletter.
- PEAT regularly holds webinars throughout the year, including our monthly PEAT Talks speaker series, a one hour online event which showcases interactive and moderated discussions with organizations and individuals whose work is advancing accessible technology in the workplace. Our webinars are always free and open to all. Miss a recent webinar? The archived video, transcript, and presentation slides will be posted approximately 1-2 weeks following the event date. Upcoming webinar descriptions as well as our archived events can be found at this link.
- Policy Matters From the Section 508 refresh to progress around Section 501, the regulatory landscape influencing accessible information and communication technology (ICT) is ever evolving. Policy Matters provides plain language policy briefs and analyses on the federal laws that affect accessible ICT and how they apply to businesses.
- TalentWorks, a new online resource from PEAT that helps employers and human resources (HR) professionals make their e-recruiting technologies accessible to all job seekers, including those with disabilities.
- Buy IT!: Your Guide for Purchasing Accessible Technology, a free online resource that helps employers and their resource purchasing staff build accessibility and usability into their IT procurement processes.
- TechCheck, an online resource to help employers assess their technology accessibility practices.
New Federal Resources on Accessible Technology
Technology Bill of Rights The National Council on Disability (NCD), an independent federal agency, has called on Congress to establish a Technology Bill of Rights for Americans with Disabilities in its annual report to Congress and the President. NCD's 2016 annual report, National Disability Policy: A Progress Report, identifies access to information and communications innovations as a civil rights issue due to the power technology has to transform civic engagement and economic opportunity in the United States. The report includes a section detailing the importance of accessible technology to finding and maintaining employment, and speaks to the relationship of technology to health care, education, and living independently in communities: "In today's world, technological equality for persons with disabilities is a social justice issue. To be truly accessible, technological inclusion must be built in, from the ground up, with every user in mind. Anything else is a step backwards. Anything less creates second class citizens." Download the full report from NCD's website at www.ncd.gov/progress_reports.
Improving 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 Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies recently updated their Improving the Accessibility of Social Media in Government Toolkit and it's available at https://www.digitalgov.gov/resources/improving-the-accessibility-of-social-media-in-government/. Created with the input of 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 The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has done an excellent update to its Section 508 website at www.Section508.gov. The site provides information and links to guidance, resources, tools, and blog articles focused on helping the 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) provides downloadable fact sheets and other resources on accessible and assistive technologies as workplace accommodations at www.askjan.org.
Creating an Accessible Workplace: Technological Accessibility ODEP's Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) provides additional resources for employers on business strategies that incorporate accessible technology at www.askearn.org.