Image of man who is blind. He is wearing dark glasses and holding a cane while sitting on a bench.Clearly, a disability-friendly workplace is an accessible workplace. Today, most businesses understand the importance of physical accessibility, such as wheelchair ramps and accessible restrooms. But not all may understand the need to also build a “technology-accessible” workplace, where information and communication technology is accessible to all employees, and/or compatible with certain assistive technology devices. After all, accessibility should extend not only to a business’s physical structure, but also to its workplace technology products, website and online job application process. The key is to ensure doors are open, whether literally or virtually.

Want to Learn More?
There are a number of resources small businesses can use to learn more about workplace accessibility, both physical and virtual, such as:

In Action

Through its partnership with the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Chicago Lighthouse, the Illinois Tollway developed a universally accessible customer service call center in an unused facility on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago. The 22,000 square foot center occupies a former basement swimming pool area and employs roughly 200 people, many of whom are visually impaired and have other disabilities, including veterans. Using an accessible technology infrastructure, the center’s employees handle more than 10,000 customer contacts per day and process more than 25,000 toll and violation payments received by mail each month.