Consultation Services

Digital Accessibility & Assistive Technology

There’s an intersection between a person’s assistive technology and an organization’s online platforms. This intersection is opened or closed depending upon is conformance with standards such as the WC3’s WCAG standards for digital accessibility.

Keyboard with digital accessibility icons on keys

People with disabilities live and work independently. Sometimes, that is due to Digital Accessibility & Assistive Technology as a personal accommodation. Digital accessibility is when everyone using your site or online app has access due to conformance with the WCAG standards. Assistive technology is an accommodation for an individual that overcomes work related impairments for that person. For example, assistive technology for speed input overcomes typing limits, speech output reads aloud the words and commands that can be used by a person who is blind. Either of these speech to text or text to speech technologies can be deployed to allow better reading comprehension, or more robust written abilities for those with an array of cognitive or learning disabilities.

When a person’s individual AT device is blocked by a digital platform that is not accessible, the AT user is kept from applying for jobs, purchasing products, or receiving services that require online registration.

Sierra Group was founded as a provider of assistive technology selection and training for customers of the vocational rehabilitation system. From 1992 to present, we’ve made it a primary goal to choose and use the best AT for every person in any workplace scenario. Maximizing human potential through technology and strategy is one more way to drive up employment for Americans with disabilities.

The onset of the global pandemic of 2020 caused a dramatic increase in every citizen’s need to rely on technology platforms to live and work independently. As such, Sierra sought out a primary partner , Tamman, Inc., as well as several in-house consultants with specific expertise in the design, development and testing of ICT (information communication technology) platforms.

For people with disabilities that need for the correct AT accommodation to get or keep a job, is often a missing link which keeps the rate of employment low for Americans with disabilities.
This, combined with lack of awareness of how to communicate electronically with digital accessibility in mind is keeping countless job applicants out of your recruitment pool every day. DEI includes those with disabilities, and this means digital accessibility is not just an ADA requirement, it is good for business.

HUMAN FACTOR INTERACTIONS

For our customers, Sierra starts with the human factor interactions that are supported by technology, and we also look at the tech platform itself to test for the invisible barriers to access for AT users. We do so via a brief engagement we call a Spot Audit. This confidential audit results in a report and some professional development for your team, both of which are designed to improve your company’s ability to recruit with digital compliance standards in mind.

DIGITAL ACCESSIBILITY SPOT AUDIT

Once a company has completed our Digital Accessibility Spot Audit, and its included learning and development courses, we can propose a long range plan for digital accessibility remediation, and future accessible development that will bring your organization closer to meeting the current guidelines from the W3C (worldwide web consortium); as well as ADA, OFCCP and US DOJ Rule making on the topic.

IT’S THE LAW

Each customer’s journey to digital accessibility starts with some human need, is expertly guided by the W3C WCAG guidelines, and also held to government rules, regulations and the ever-growing case laws that are shaping actions on this topic.

As with each aspect of disability and employment Sierra holds true to the principle that “it’s the right thing to do”; “it’s the law”; and “the marketplace will reward you for your efforts.”

Thus, “start by starting” is our CEO’s motto. Schedule a brief consultation today to learn more about our 360 degree approach.

The results of the Spot Audit process gave us a clear roadmap to areas where our national non-profit organization needed to update certain aspects of various technology platforms. Sierra’s process felt personal and clear to our managers and communications team, while also providing direct insight for our technology developers to make some simple changes. This was a great place to start the process of becoming fully digitally accessible. Leaders from all departments understood the results, and we will be more disability inclusive as a result.

CEO of National Non-Profit employment services provider.

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Each customer’s journey to digital accessibility starts with some human need, is expertly guided by the W3C WCAG guidelines.

SIERRA

Seeking Inclusion for Everyone Requiring Reasonable Accommodation

Blind man using phone
Accessibility disability computer icon on keyboard
Man in wheelchair using a computer with a wireless headset, reaching out to touch the monitor.

The Digital Accessibility Spot Audit took away my “fear” about proactively recruiting job candidates with disabilities. We learned where we were on track, and ways to accommodate and plan around any areas where digital inclusion was not yet “fully in place”. As VP of DEI at my organization this information was a game changer. Sierra’s approach to meet us where we were at, explain the topic and help us create a long-range plan which included the technical and human assistance tools we needed at each step of the plan was invaluable.

VP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Sierra-Tamman 360° Collaborative Accelerates Necessary Change

Embracing inclusion is liberating. Inclusive practices proactively accommodate physical and informational tools and resources that are required for some but benefit all. The Sierra/Tamman 360-Degrees of Inclusion is here to help with your company’s employment and digital information goals. It just makes sense to do the right thing.

The Sierra-Tamman 360-Degrees of Inclusion collaboration