Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

Grant 2: The Carroll Center for the Blind Careers in Accessibility Training Program

While the world continues to become increasingly dependent on technology for work, education, shopping, and all aspects of life, companies are faced with the challenge of ensuring that their digital presence is accessible to people of all abilities. As a result, employees skilled in accessibility-related areas are in high demand. The Carroll Center for the Blind approached RDPFS to support their Careers in Accessibility Training Program, which is being designed to immerse high school and college-aged students who are blind or visually impaired in accessibility-related disciplines. Grant funding will support marketing and recruitment, conference participation, professional memberships, a graduate intern, and equipment and costs related to operating the program. This program, offered remotely, targets students aged 14 to 22, making it possible for them  to learn digital efficiency and gain knowledge about accessibility. It offers a unique opportunity to delve into the federal Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). The invaluable technology skills taught include JAWS (Job Access with Speech) and NVDA (Non-Visual Desktop Access) settings for accessibility testing, written and verbal accessibility testing reporting, and incorporating WCAG into accessibility testing to derive meaningful insights, to name a few. To train each participant successfully and improve their employability, the program will provide accessibility instruction in all operating systems. The skills acquired will enable participants to contribute to a more inclusive and accessible web and increase their competitiveness in the job market.