Our offices keep evolving, bringing to life new ideas about productivity, design, functionality and even employee morale. Many of these changes are brought about by important shifts in the labor force. As millennials and Gen Z’ers slowly replace older generations as the majority of the workforce and employers are slowly learning the power of attractive office perks in recruiting and keeping young talent, from pet-friendly work areas, to exciting game rooms and nap rooms. Another important step for attracting the best talent pool is to create a disability-friendly workplace.
There are two main components for integrating people with various disabilities at work. One of them involves raising awareness among employees and informing them of the ways they can help their disabled colleagues. The other one means getting the right equipment and improving accessibility into and inside the office. We’ve put together a list of companies offering a range of services and expertise to help your business create the best workplace for differently-abled professionals.
For many years, hearing impaired individuals relied on hearing aids to manage daily conversations with friends or coworkers unfamiliar with sign language. For all their qualities, these devices don’t work quite as well in large group conversations as in one-on-one conversations, which makes workplace integration more difficult since meetings, conferences, presentations or even casual watercooler banter are an integral part of any employees’ workday. Ava strives to address these shortcomings though its innovative, AI-based smart captioner.
Downloading the app provides real-time captioning, tracking not only what is being said, but also distinguishing between different speakers. This grants greater autonomy to hearing impaired individuals, as it allows them to take in vital information or nuances that might get lost when they’re switching their attention from one speaker to another or when they’re being given only a summary of a lengthy conversation. According to the National Deaf Center, 47% of deaf-disabled people have yet to be integrated successfully into the labor force. With general education attainment rates for deaf people increasing since 2008, there is an untapped source of fresh talent in the currently tight labor market.
The Ava team has helped thousands of deaf and hard-of-hearing people in more than 20 countries improve their quality of life. The artificial intelligence behind the app learns more from each conversation its users have through its Ava Web platform and it then applies that data to further perfect the quality and accuracy of future transcripts. You can visit their website for details about Ava membership plans, as well as a range of Ava accessories tailored towards optimizing hearing-impaired workers’ experiences in conferences and meetings with many participants.
Time Timer was created by inventor Jan Rogers over 20 years ago, as a tool meant to help her youngest child transition from one daily routine to another, and ultimately went on to help more than 1 million people deal with this universal problem.
A simple yet innovative time management tool, Time Timer is designed to visually show the passage of time by using a patented red disk that disappears as time elapses. It is highly regarded and frequently recommended by both educators and organizers, as well as professional therapists, being helpful for anyone who wants to make every moment count.
Founded in 1986, EMG Corp has a reliable track record of more than a million completed projects across the United States, making it one of the biggest technical assessment and project management companies. To begin their ADA engagements, their experts conduct a comprehensive assessment of the space to see the current level of compliance, then evaluate the results to find the best option for their clients.
Some of the key benefits of opting for EMG ADA consulting include customized transition plans for assessments and compliance, software platforms to manage all facility data collected during the survey process, a national team of honest, caring and highly dedicated ADA experts, deep experience with Title II and Title III entities, as well as experience with DOJ compliance.
Before founding ADA Compliance Consultants in 2004, Chris Taylor spent several years in the compliance field, learning about the many discrepancy between federal law and local codes in terms of accessibility regulations for businesses. The confusion over these differences leads to accessibility issues, a very uneven quality level of basic requirements for disabled people in the workplace and leaves many businesses vulnerable to litigation.
According to the California-based company, only three U.S. states’ local accessibility codes match those at the federal level. ADA Compliance Consultants seeks to address this by offering a comprehensive list of services, which includes interior and exterior evaluations, post-construction compliance inspection, contractor recommendations and professionals who can provide expert witness testimony in a lawsuit. Their teams of inspectors and plans examiners are certified by the International Code Council (ICC) and California’s Certified Access Specialist program (CASp).
In 1996, John Gardner, a physics professor at Oregon State University and founder of ViewPlus, patented a new high-resolution embossing technology, meant to make graphics and image-dependent information accessible to blind people. In 2000, the company’s first product, the ViewPlus Tiger Advantage, hit the market.
Since then, the company has developed many braille printers, hybrid ink/braille printers, touchpads and software solutions that allows these devices to connect on to the major operating systems in use today. Their range of products includes the BRAILLO 300 S2 Braille Printer, a device that allows you to emboss roughly 900 pages per hour, making it ideal for heavy Braille production. Its quality output, durability and low-noise features recommend it for use in every office that wants to provide a workplace that accommodates the vision-impaired.
The IVEO 3 Hands-On Learning System is an interactive touchpad designed to display visual information to blind or low-vision people, through both tactile and audio feedback. The package also contains proprietary software that enables the system to connect to your computer, allowing for the creation of IVEO files in the office or home.