Try new tool to attract disabled applicants

Employers are required to make the job application process accessible to a wide range of disabled applicants. Meeting that obligation has never been simple, especially now that most employers use online tools to announce job openings, attract applicants and process applications without using paper.

A recent survey by the Department of Labor-funded Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT) found that applying for a job online was “difficult or impossible” for 46% of disabled individuals.

Now, the DOL in collaboration with PEAT has stepped in to help employers meet their legal obligation with the launch of TalentWorks, a free online tool that helps employers and HR professionals ensure accessibility in their web-based job applications and other recruiting technologies for job seekers with disabilities.

Find TalentWorks online here.

TalentWorks offers tools for making online job applications, digital interviews, pre-employment tests and résumé upload programs accessible to disabled applicants.

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Take, for example, online applications. The TalentWorks tool can help employers with the most common complaints disabled applicants have:

•     Timeout restrictions that cause an application to close before the user can finish

•    Lack of video captioning

•    Lack of alternative text, which can make images hard to recognize

•    Poor screen/color contrast

•    Inaccessible form fields and mouse-only input options.

Some TalentWorks tips:  

•     Provide an alternative way for applicants to submit résumés.

•     Ensure that job descriptions are simple, easy to read and accessible across a wide range of browsers and word processing systems.

•    Pay attention to accessibility when crafting social media outreach efforts. TalentWorks offers tip sheets for tweeting and captioning Facebook recruiting videos.

Final note: Be sure to share the new tool with your IT staff so they can work out the best way to integrate it into your existing online talent acquisition infrastructure.