More companies are considering hiring accessibility specialists

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Accessibility jobs, from ‘accessibility managers’ to ‘accessibility analysts’, are changing rapidly in the industry as companies strive to make their products and services suitable for people with disabilities. . Increased a.

In response to a request for data from the Wall Street Journal, LinkedIn said the number of jobs with “accessibility” in the headline increased 78% in the year ended July compared to the last 12 month. According to a professional networking site owned by Microsoft, such a list grew by 38% in the year from August 2019 to July 2020. Ltd.

Accessibility jobs are just a small portion of the millions of jobs listed on LinkedIn. According to LinkedIn, about 12,000 jobs included “accessibility” in the year from August 2020 to July 2021.

Atlassian Ltd.

Is a manufacturer of collaboration, development, and issue-tracking software for professional use, hiring an accessibility manager to lead five engineering, research and design employees already working on accessibility. I aim. Atlassian has released several accessibility updates to their product, including the addition of color blindness to their Trello collaboration tool.

Trello mode for color blind users adds designs that help people distinguish labels.

Photo:
Trello

Zack Gottlieb, head of design for Atlassian platforms and enterprises, said the company is still starting to work on accessibility. “We want to have access to all of Atlassian’s experiences from the start,” said Gottlieb.

Promoters and hiring managers say the increase in accessibility work is due to a number of factors, including the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, disability procedures, and diversity and inclusive efforts.

The increase in teleworking and online shopping during pandemics has revealed the shortcomings of certain products for some customers and employees. For example, there were issues that helped the hearing impaired, such as the lack of captions in video calls.

Microassist Inc. Jack McElaney, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, said: A consulting company focused on digital accessibility and the founder of the Microassist Accessibility in the News newsletter.

Legal risk is also increasing. UseableNet Inc, a technology company. According to the data, the number of cases in the United States claiming that people with disabilities do not have access to websites, apps and digital videos has increased from around 3,500 in 2020 to around 2,900 in 2019. Provides an overview accessibility technology and compliance services.

Many companies are also working to keep their commitment to diversity and inclusion in response to protests against discrimination, racial inequality and the murder of George Floyd in police custody last summer.

On the flip side, many of the estimated 73 million baby boomers need access to accessibility products, even if they haven’t identified a disability.

Jennison Asuncion, head of accessibility engineering evangelism at LinkedIn and Twitter Leader, said companies don’t want to be left behind on accessibility as the topic gets bigger. Ltd.

Jobs for the @ a11y account. Tweet job postings about accessibility. The term a11y refers to accessible technology derived from the first and last letter of “accessibility” and the 11 in between.

“I have a little bit of kinship and I want to do the right thing,” Asuncion said. “And I don’t think a company wants to be seen as caring.”

Accessibility Jobs features traditional job boards and themes, such as A11y Jobs and Inclusively, a professional networking platform owned by Ligilo Inc. that focuses on people with disabilities, mental health and chronic illness. . It is posted on the job posting board.

Zendesk Ltd.

We have three positions related to accessibility. Customer service software makers already have accessibility initiatives in place, and employees across the company are working part-time on those efforts. Rick Boardman, senior director of product accessibility at Zendesk, says Zendesk is currently considering hiring a full-time accessibility-focused team. He said two of the three new hires would report to him.

“Our goal is to remove friction from every part of our customer journey. Accessibility is an important pillar needed to provide the best service, ”says Boardman.

The company has updated software accessibility, including the addition of keyboard support. This allows visually impaired or shivering people to access websites using keyboard shortcuts, such as using the Tab key to navigate the site.

According to the consultants, minor but specific changes to the list can help people with disabilities feel more comfortable applying for a job and disclose the accommodations they need.

“I want to be able to disclose the housing I need so that I can get it, but I want to be able to do it without feeling like I’m looking for something more. It is not extra. That’s why, ”explains Alexa Huth. Consultant for Wheelhouse Group LLC, a management consulting firm for the visually impaired. “It’s what you need to be successful at your job like everyone else. “

Details of the experience report

Write to Ann-Marie Alcantara ([email protected])

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