Suddenly Virtual: The Importance of Making Virtual Tools Accessible for People with Disabilities

June 11, 2020

While the need for virtual work, services, and events continues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, explicit consideration must be made to ensure that the technology being used is accessible to members of the disability community. At this point in time, technology is a communication lifeline for most people, so the opportunity to connect with ease should be extended to people of all abilities. It is critical to know the accessibility features of the technology being employed and how to operationalize those features in order to ensure that virtual work, services, and events are inclusive. 

The John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development has released a new toolkit, Accessibility in a Virtual Environment, authored by research associate Liana Volpe MPP ’18. It reviews the accessibility features of some of the most popular technology tools and services for virtual connection and collaboration. This includes services for: 

  • Voice and conference calls;
  • Video conferencing;
  • Collaboration, productivity, and document creation and sharing; and
  • Messaging.

As workforce professionals and service providers continue to plan and offer virtual services and events, it is important to understand that individuals’ accessibility needs are unique. This requires flexibility and openness to exploring a variety of technology tools and services to meet the needs of customers. As we all continue to navigate the suddenly virtual world, we must give thought to ensuring equal opportunity and access to technology tools and services for people with disabilities.

Download the Toolkit (PDF)

Recent Posts

Winecoff: Working Paper on Health Insurance Enrollment

Spillovers in Public Benefit Enrollment: How does Expanding Public Health Insurance for Working-Age Adults affect Future Health Insurance Choices? Abstract Enrollment in one public benefit program often affects enrollment in others. We study life-course spillovers by...

$21.1 million Awarded for the Safe Routes to School Program

The Murphy Administration announced $21.1 million for 23 grants under the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program on July 10, 2024. The New Jersey Safe Routes to School Program, supported by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, is a statewide initiative with a...

Deanna Moran Named MA Chief Coastal Resilience Officer

Deanna Moran, AICP (MPP/MCRP '16) was named the Chief Coastal Resilience Officer by the Healey-Driscoll Administration to address climate change impacts along Massachusetts’ coastline. Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rebecca Tepper announced Deanna...

Voorhees Transportation Center seeks new Executive Director

The Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC) seeks a new Executive Director who will oversee the center’s research program, technical services and other initiatives, including external relations, communications, business development, and fundraising. The Executive...

How the heat will continue to affect your commute

Clinton J. Andrews, director of the Center for Urban Policy Research at Rutgers University, joins Drive Time with Michael Wallace to discuss how the heat affects transit infrastructure in and around the city.    WCBS AM-NY, July 11, 2024

Upcoming Events

Event Series CAREERS

Virtual Career Drop-ins


Stop by virtually on Mondays (except for holidays) beginning September 9th through December 16th between 11 am and 1 pm to ask a quick (15 min) career-related question of Bloustein […]