Laws in most countries mean that businesses must now offer a high level of accessibility to all their employees. But while things like ramps and rails play a significant role, technology should be front and center.
Around 19 million people are living with a disability of working age in the country. The economy, therefore, relies on accessibility to ensure that everyone can get to work and offer their labor to employers. It brings incredible benefits to society—the more people with disabilities who can be independent, the better.
What’s more, the data seems to suggest that businesses that employ people living with disabilities actually have higher revenues than those that don’t. A study, for instance, revealed that companies that provide accessibility options for their staff tend to have double the income of those that don’t and much higher employee retention too.
So what assistive technologies are out there?
And how can you use them in your place of work?
Devices With Large Buttons
A lot of employees rely on their mobile phones to carry out their work. They’re vital for everything, from calling clients to receiving work plans while in the field.
The problem with modern devices is that they aren’t particularly accessible. They rely on touch screens, the words on the screens are small, and they have complicated menus.
A mobile phone for seniors, therefore, is becoming more popular. Businesses are using them to provide their workers with accessible phones that they can use outside of the office for more effective communication.
Voice Recognition Systems
Voice recognition systems are essential for people who struggle to type. Ten years ago, the technology was hopelessly inadequate, but today, it has developed to the point where it is commercially viable. Modern voice recognition systems require relatively little training. Once they get the hang of a person’s voice, they’re very accurate.
You don’t even need to install them locally. Most vendors now offer services in real-time through the cloud.
Closed Captioning Systems
Many workers now also need to watch videos as part of their work. But if they’re hard of hearing, then they can’t always understand what is being said.
Closed captioning systems, therefore, are essential. They translate the sounds onscreen into text that the person with hearing loss can then read.
Sight loss and poor eyesight is something that afflicts a large proportion of people at some point in their lives, so it makes sense for businesses to make facilities available that allow for easier reading.
Reading assistants are essentially pieces of software that overlay on your existing operating systems and make it easier for people in your organization to read texts. You can use them to magnify articles, change the spacing of text, and improve navigation for those with sight loss.
What’s so exciting about accessibility technology is that the companies that implement it tend to outperform their rivals. That’s an outcome nobody expected.