This is a repost of an old article on the Tenon blog. Since that’s being sunsetted, I’m reposting it below.
One of the most impactful ways that we can work towards achieving total accessibility on the Web is by improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The online job application process should ensure ease of use and comprehension for all of your applicants. Website accessibility policies should always extend to your career pages, application forms, and the like.
If your job applicants experience any accessibility barriers during the online application process, you run the risk of violating Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which:
“…prohibits private employers, State and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.”
Failure to comply with ADA standards can result in legal consequences— not to mention involuntary discrimination against your talent pool. Ensure that your careers and job opportunities are accessible by checking for the following common mistakes, as well as implementing Level Access’s recommendations and testing solutions.
Inaccessible Job Postings
An inaccessible job posting will naturally result in fewer applicants who are disabled. Given how common accessibility problems are on job postings, this in turn contributes to reduced employment opportunities for people with disabilities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 17.9% of disabled persons were employed in 2020, down from 19.3% in 2019. The application process in the post-COVID digital work environment has made it even more difficult to allow for in-person application methods.
Types of technical challenges people with disabilities will face when dealing with job websites and career pages typically include:
- An inability to register on the website;
- An inability to accurately fill out application forms or pre-interview questionnaires;
- An inability to check on the status of their application.
Some companies may attempt to mitigate this risk by providing an alternate method of applying. However, this raises significant privacy concerns for applicants with disabilities who may want to keep their disability private. Many people worry that disclosing information about their disabilities will expose them to discrimination before they even get a chance to interview. An accessible job application process exemplifies that your business offers fair and equal opportunities to its recruits.
Making Your Job Site More Accessible
Many of the general best practices for website accessibility are also applicable to career pages and job application forms. Level Access recommends testing your online job listing for the following components:
- Compatibility with assistive technologies: Ensure that your job posting is compatible with assistive technology softwares, including text-to-speech screen readers. Testing for accessibility with assistive technologies is a valuable process that can mitigate the risk of missing out on qualified job applicants with disabilities.
- Color contrast: The tried and true standards for color contrast ratios are also applicable to your career pages and application forms. As established by WCAG, the use of text and images of text must meet a contrast ratio of 4.5:1 to ensure readability for those with visual impairments.
- Mobile accessibility: If your job site allows for applicants to enter submissions from mobile devices, you’ll want to ensure that your website is responsive between desktop and mobile orientations. Accessibility issues with mobile devices can include touchscreen functionality, different input modalities, device use cases in different settings and lighting, and beyond.
- Ongoing maintenance: Website accessibility is an ongoing process as opposed to a one-and-done fix. For a quick, efficient, and automated way to test your site’s accessibility, choose Level Access. We offer a myriad of services and tools to verify your site’s accessibility today, tomorrow, and beyond.