Working remotely with disabilities

We started to work remotely long before COVID. I am a deep introvert, and I love remote work. So I organized the Inclusive IT company from scratch with the help of IUS NGO. But there work people with disabilities. Some of them are blind. How to work that way – remotely and with blind people. Shortly – If they are motivated – then easier than you have thought.

People with Visual Impairments Working at Home

Blind people can use a computer with the help of screen readers. Screen readers use technology text-to-speech. So all the text information could be pronounced. Smartphones too. But every application could be accessible for blind people or not. This means correct code, labelling non-text elements and some other things. So there are accessible applications and not accessible. Accessible websites according to standard WCAG and not accessible. Accessible project management tools and corporate chat and not. Accessible mail services or not. And so on.

So my task was to find those applications for remote work that is most accessible. Spoiler: Redmine, Facebook Workplace, Google Suite are the most used by us. Also, we used Teamtalk, Skype, Zoom, Slack, Google Hangouts. If the application is accessible, the team declares it and gets some help chapters.

Flexible hours

Yes, we work fully flexible. Mostly we are on connection even when we are not busy with work. Just type what you need. If we need rest – we say I`m on holiday today. If you have a disability – your health is less strong than usual, and we understand it.

COVID was a shock to the world. Going to the remote is the chance to take part in hackathons, have new clients, even register companies abroad in Ukraine. Even we can travel again. We could work remotely. It is about possibilities.

I a not happy about COVID. But I think that is a chance to make the more healthy, more diverse and equal world. So we could work with people that are living in villages, that are in hard to move places, that have children home. It is the third wave. Hello, Elvin Toffler. It is a global village. Shortly we will come to mass augmented reality. Shortly our assistive technologies could include into the global process more and more different people.

I am happy inclusion, and web accessibility grows worldwide. I am happy we have offers and jobs. I am happy we could slowly grow and employ new IT specialists with disabilities. When the physical world is still dangerous, we could make the digital world the way to keep our society and planet longer.

About the author: Roman Borenko
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