How can employers use assistive technology to create equal opportunities online?
With more and more aspects of everyday life going digital anyone who can’t easily access the online world is at an immediate disadvantage.
Approximately one billion people globally have a disability, and they can often face barriers when visiting inaccessible websites. A lack of online access can have a big impact on real life from looking after to our finances to getting a job.
Why has web accessibility become important in recruitment?
Web accessibility is fundamental to the goal of a more diverse and inclusive workforce. The pandemic has accelerated a shift towards online recruitment; it is more important than ever for employers to provide a digitally inclusive employment journey. From discovering candidates online, to remote interviews and onboarding, this digital hiring journey has amplified the disability gap in recruitment.
What does the disability gap in recruitment look like?
It is quite shocking to hear that only a third of jobseekers think that recruiters and employers currently provide accessible job applications. This could explain why disabled jobseekers apply for 60% more jobs before securing one. Almost 40% of disabled applicants feel anxious about the process of applying for a job because they think that their application will be instantly dismissed due to their disability.
Inaccessible websites are further worsening the disability gap in recruitment - 71% of users will leave a site they find hard to use. The fact that 98% of homepages still don’t comply with the World Content Accessibility Guidelines demonstrates that many organisations still have a fair way to go before achieving online inclusivity. Acknowledging this issue is an important first step for companies looking to recruit in a truly diverse and inclusive way.
In an effort to reduce this disability gap Recite Me have joined forces with APSCo to support the recruitment sector to become more inclusive online.
What are the benefits of a diverse workforce?
A diverse workforce provides a richer and more innovative team for any business. For example, neurodiverse employees are often creative and strategic thinkers. This can allow for better problem-solving amongst teams as varying perspectives often offer a fresh approach to overcoming business challenges. Additionally, being firm about equal opportunities creates a positive culture in the workplace and boost morale.
How can companies support web inclusivity?
Compliance: Ensure that websites comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). We have written a useful article explaining the guidelines.
More inclusive website design: There are a range of factors that should be considered when designing a website. This includes using alt text for images, using headings to structure content and giving descriptive names to links. For many organisations inclusive website design does not seem to be a priority as 98% of homepages do not comply with the World Content Accessibility Guidelines.
Assistive technology: This helps people work around challenges so they can learn, communicate, and function better. Assistive software allows adaptions to be made to account for several barriers including learning difficulties, visual impairments, disabilities, and varied linguistic needs.
Tell me more about assistive technology
The Recite Me Assistive Toolbar allows web visitors to customise your digital content, so that they can consume it in a way that works for them.
With the Recite Me toolbar users can:
- Personalise font size, type and colour options to make each web page easier to read
- Download content as an audio file as an alternative to reading
- Convert text into over 100 different on-screen languages
- Use text to speak functions in 35 different languages
- Use a screen mask and ruler for better focus
- Use the toolbar’s built-in dictionary and thesaurus
To see how the Recite Me Toolbar has already helped many recruitment organisations make
a positive change online read our recruitment case studies.