Your website may be preventing potential job applicants from applying.
The unemployment rate this past February was at 4.1% with an estimated 313,000 jobs added. (source – Adecco – Job Market Update, 3/16/2018) This is the most jobs added since July of 2016. This also means talent is becoming harder for companies to find.
However . . .
The Internet has been a great tool for businesses that are seeking to decrease costs and increase efficiency, especially when it comes to the job application process. As a result, the majority of companies place their job advertisements online and require that applications for the job be submitted online. Unfortunately, many online employment websites are posing to be inaccessible to users with disabilities – thus preventing these individuals from even applying for jobs online.
The majority of the issues involve individuals that need screen readers while attempting to apply online. (source –National Network Information, Guidance, and Training on the Americans with Disability Act. )
To be compliant for a visually impaired applicant, you need to ensure the following:
- Provide text alternatives for non-text content (that includes your images, logo, and graphics)
- Use clear and helpful page titles
- Present items in a logical order
- Check that form controls are associated with a label elements
- If certain form fields are required, the field should be labeled accordingly and configured to alert the screen reader
- The use of CAPTCHA is inaccessible and should NOT be used to validate submissions
- Make the purpose of every link clear from its context
- Clearly identify input errors
- Ensure the contrast ratio between text and background is at least 4.5:1
- Ensure that text can be resized to 200% without loss of content or function
- Use all menus consistently
- Use all icons and buttons consistently
- Reduce the risk of input errors for sensitive data
It does not end there – employers must realize that it is ill-advised to mandate that ALL applicants must apply for employment via the Internet. Employers should be willing to provide non-technology based accommodations including, but not limited to, paper-based application/assessment materials and readers for such materials.
If you or your organization are not sure about your web-based application process, testing with a screen reader can be a useful way to get a sense for how navigation, forms, and dynamic content are working.
Here are tutorials on testing with screen readers:
JAWS – this is a link to JAWS
NVDA – this is a link to NVDA
VoiceOver – this is a link to VoiceOver
VisionAware –[blog] The Challenges of Applying for a Job Online
Screen Reader Testing - Overview
Understanding ADA – What is American with Disability Act (ADA)?
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