Thank you so much to everyone who was able to join the second AFB Town Hall on the impact of COVID-19 on access to employment and technology for Americans who are blind or have low vision, drawing on findings from the Flatten Inaccessibility Report. A complete archive will be available soon, for anyone who missed the live conversation. As promised, here are some of the resources shared by the presenters and attendees:
- Dr. Rosenblum recently published an op-ed in the Arizona Daily Star: Local Researcher: I have impaired vision. COVID has made daily life much tougher.
- AFB's most recent issue of AccessWorld Magazine focused on employment, including an article on navigating the gig economy as a visually impaired freelancer.
- Between March and July 2020, the Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind (VRCBVI) conducted a host of virtual trainings on subjects ranging from access technology, conversations about blindness, braille, O&M, organizing with Zing, health and diabetes education, goal setting, using apps, job searches, and much more. You can find the recorded sessions on their Facebook page.
- Dr. Rachael Sessler Trinkowsky has created a series of tutorials on using Zoom with a screen reader.
- An attendee noted that it can be tough to keep up with all of the updates to the Zoom interface. Jonathan Mosen recently announced that he was going to be discontinuing the circulation of his Zoom audiobook "Meet Me Accessibly," because Zoom has had so many updates since the book was originally published.
- AFB is currently conducting a Workplace Technology Study to learn more about the technology experiences (training, tools used, required job tasks, barriers, wishes) of workers with visual impairments—visit www.afb.org/WorkplaceTech to learn more about that study and how you can take part.
- AFB president and CEO Dr. Kirk Adams in late June wrote an op-ed in the magazine HR Dive: 'A moment of inclusion': Will the post-pandemic workplace be more friendly to people with disabilities?—Dr. Adams weighed in on flexible work arrangements that have become the norm due to COVID-19.
- You can reach out to AFB Consulting if you are an organization or business owner looking for help building a robust digital inclusion strategy.
- This spring, AFB hosted a Virtual AFB Leadership Conference session on how to set up inclusive remote work environments.
- Disability:IN provides resources for employers seeking to build a culture of inclusion.
- The Job Accommodations Network offers both employers and employees resources and free consultations on implementing appropriate accommodations in the workplace, including strategies for returning to work during COVID-19.
- AFB issued a statement on the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the consequential Domino’s Pizza web accessibility case. Lainey Feingold offers a look at this and other recent digital accessibility cases, settlements, and orders.
- Initiatives like Teach Access seek to address the underlying issues of digital accessibility by equipping students with inclusive computer science skills.
- Introduction to Inclusive Talent Acquisition is an online course developed by Perkins School for the Blind.
- AFB Consulting is conducting a study in conjunction with Mississippi State University on the accessibility of applicant tracking systems and more specifically job application portals. You can learn more about that research project in the upcoming issue of Focus on AFB.
Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the discussion, and many thanks to LHH, sponsor of the AFB Town Hall on Employment and Technology.
We hope you can join us for the third and final town hall on November 10, focusing on education. If you're a Twitter user, you can share your thoughts with the hashtag #AccessEngagement.
Town Hall #3: November 10 from 2-3 PM Eastern
Topic: Education Across the Lifespan
Presenters: Dr. L. Penny Rosenblum, AFB, Director of Research
Dr. Tina S. Herzberg, University of South Carolina Upstate, Professor
Dr. Tiffany Wild, The Ohio State University, Associate Professor
Register for Town Hall #3: Education Across the Lifespan
AFB is grateful to JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the James H. and Alice Teubert Charitable Trust for their financial support of the Town Hall Series.