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SkillSurvey’s online reference solution provides digital accessibility compliance

It has been almost 30 years since the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. While the ADA aims to help people with disabilities access the same benefits and employment opportunities that people without disabilities enjoy, providing easy access to online career information for the disabled is by no means commonplace.

Phenom People, a global HR technology company providing a leading Talent Experience Management Platform, surveyed the job sites at the top Fortune 100 companies to check whether their online career pages conform with best practices and standards defined by level AA of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). There are a dozen testable criteria or standards, known as Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), that help developers determine if their sites are easily accessible to the disabled.

Phenom People looked for the presence of just six of those standards (color contrasting, alt text for images and links, the ability to resize fonts without assistive technology, keyboard-only navigation of sites, focus indicators that highlight web content, text descriptions for tables). It found that only 11 Fortune 100 companies met them all. Meanwhile, 89 companies failed at least one standard, and 46 companies failed three or more.

Improve Access to Your Site and You Win

There are some great reasons your organization’s online job site and HR Technologies should be accessible.

For one, if candidates or their references can’t easily read or navigate around your website, it is hard or impossible for them to apply for positions or provide critical feedback. That means you may miss out on hiring people with some excellent skills and experience. And that’s not smart, considering the labor market’s current skills gap

Legal and compliance risks are growing

Next, ensuring accessibility helps to protect your organization from ADA-related lawsuits. According to Sayfarth Shaw LLP, a law firm that tracks Title III ADA lawsuits, digital accessibility lawsuits grew by 177% from 2017 to 2018.  And, the courts are backing accessibility as well.  In October 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court turned down an appeal and upheld a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that held that the ADA provides the disabled with protection to the websites and apps of restaurants and stores – not just to their physical locations.

Make sure your career site and other hiring solutions are accessible and compliant

Your job website and any hiring technologies that you use should be built to be accessible by the blind, deaf, and people who need to navigate it by voice, screen readers or other kinds of assistive technologies.

At SkillSurvey, we believe strongly in building a diverse workplace, eliminating hiring biases, and tapping into the skills and talents of job seekers, including others who are underrepresented like unemployed military veterans. This means that every part of the hiring process – including any related technology – be fully and easily accessible by disabled persons.

We enhanced our cloud-based digital reference-checking solution, SkillSurvey Reference®, to conform with level AA WCAG 2.1 guidelines. Some examples of enhancements include use of heading tags to organize page structure; text descriptions for images and descriptive names for links; high contrast colors; and content accessible by keyboard alone. Read more about our work to ensure that everyone can easily access and operate our technology solutions.  Going forward, we’re committed to continuing to expand accessibility across our entire digital footprint.

If you’d like to see how online reference checking can improve your hiring, schedule a personal demo.

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