Recruitment Website Courts Job-Seekers With Disabilities
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 6, 2004
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND--Job-seekers who are blind or partially-sighted now have an ally in ScottishJobs.com, Scotland's leading independent recruitment website.
According to a Scottish Jobs press release, the site has built new features and functionality that allows users to search online for jobs, and access career advice, using assistive technology. Advanced screen readers that read the information out loud and refreshable Braille displays have also been added to the site.
The site meets or exceeds Double-A standards of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and was rigorously tested by blind Internet users.
The upgrades and accessibility features came online at the end of last month just as the final phase of the country's Disability Discrimination Act 1995 came into force. Under the DDA, all employers must now make "reasonable adjustments" to their workplaces so people with disabilities have equal access.
"In recognising our unique position in being so close to a large number of recruiters and jobseekers on a daily basis we developed a special programme of initiatives," said ScottishJobs.com managing director Pat Kelly. "The program aims to facilitate and support the meeting of jobseekers with disabilities and recruiters through the website."
"In so doing we hope to significantly raise awareness and to encourage people with a disability to pursue work in their chosen careers. As there are more than 10 million disabled people in Britain it also makes good business sense for employers to tap into this pool of talent."
According to figures from the European Union, people with disabilities throughout Europe are two to three times more likely to be unemployed than people without disabilities. In some parts of the United Kingdom, up to 70 percent of people with a disability are in long-term unemployment.
ScottishJobs.com plans in the coming months to develop a comprehensive online resource for job-seekers with disabilities, including a guide to the supports, technologies, and strategies to help them compete in the job market.