Galt Foundation discusses four accessibility technologies that organizations should consider for making their workplaces more inclusive for employees with disabilities: video conferencing, closed captioning, guided meditation apps, and assessment tools.
Many businesses are preparing to return to work in the coming months. This is a great time to talk about universal design and inclusion for everyone. In particular, we want to celebrate the steps being taken to expand digital solutions for workers that have their origin in making the workspace accessible to employees with disabilities. With that in mind, here are four accessibility technologies that your workplace should consider incorporating.
Many companies have adopted remote-work strategies for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis, and these adaptations will still be important when things return to typical processes, particularly for individuals with disabilities. Remote work is a key strategy in the accessibility toolkit.
While emails and Slack connectivity are helpful for everyday operations, video conferencing with Zoom, Skype, and other tools can allow all employees, including employees with disabilities, who are working from home to engage fully in their work and office culture. Video conferencing can also help alleviate any feelings of being disconnected, both during the COVID-19 crisis and afterwards, for those employees who work remotely. Setting up weekly — or more frequent — video check-ins can boost morale and address issues in a timely manner.
Captioning is an area that many assessment tools will quickly flag. Captioning can make video presentations or training videos accessible to employees with hearing loss. Some video services have the option of automatically generated captions.
Especially in cases where clear communication is necessary, manually transcribed captions are your best option. If you don't know where to start, check out the many online resources available. There are also live captioning services for video conferencing either in person or online.
Guided Meditation Apps
To address mental health concerns of their employees, companies are increasingly suggesting the use of guided meditation apps. The Headspace app is perhaps the most common, but there are a number of others, including Insight Timer and Meditation Studio.
Having access to these services paid by the employer can be instrumental in helping all employees cope during this time and participate fully in office life. The apps are also a valuable resource outside of company time.
Digital systems and online frameworks built without accessibility in mind often create barriers for employees with disabilities and can be difficult to add later. Fortunately, there are a number of digital assessment tools that can examine the accessibility of your website or online applications.
Tools such as DYNOMapper, A11Y Compliance Platform, AATT, and many others will comb through your digital systems, identifying issues and helping you root out accessibility barriers. These programs will give you a good idea of what needs to be improved.
Let Galt Foundation Help You
Whichever initiatives your company adopts to create a more accessible workspace, these four accessibility technologies can reap ample rewards in engaging all employees. And as digital options improve, they become an asset to all employees but especially employees with disabilities. Take some time this May 21st to explore the initiatives your company uses already and new ones that it can enact to create a more accessible and equitable workspace.
If you would like to discuss workplace accessibility with the experts at Galt Foundation, feel free to get in touch with one of our friendly associates. You can reach us here or call us at 1-877-361-1277, and we would be more than happy to help.