Why Workplace Accessibility Matters: Hear From Persons With Disabilities Succeeding at Work

Insights from Accenture colleagues on accessibility when you walk in the shoes of someone who is deaf, blind or autistic.
Sep 10, 2020 4:05 PM ET

Workplace accessibility is different when you walk in our shoes.

Imagine a world that is: Silent. Dark. Confusing. Out of reach.

Walk in the shoes of someone who is deaf, blind, autistic or in a wheelchair, and the world will appear very different. Perhaps even isolating, forbidding, closed and exclusive.

That’s often the reality for nearly 1 billion people worldwide with a disability. But workplace accessibility can change that.

Meet Sergio, Beatriz and Jonathan.

They are change makers opening doors and shedding light on what it feels like to work in an inclusive, accessible and barrier-free environment. And they are part of Accenture’s Accessibility Center of Excellence team, ensuring that people with all abilities have equal opportunities.

Nothing for us, without us

Sergio Faria is a Program & Project Management Associate Manager in Brazil. His 21-year career with Accenture extends across many interesting projects. Currently working in an innovation center, he shares that his most exciting project is often the next one: “I like to learn, to know more, to follow the advances of technology and society.”

Finding different and innovative ways to apply technologies is part of the work Sergio does for his customers, but it also applies to how he uses accessible communication tools every day.

As a blind person, Sergio uses assistive technologies to read screen content, but not all technology is accessible. With the help of Microsoft’s Seeing AI app, Sergio can point his mobile phone at a screen and have the content read back to him.

Sergio offers advice when creating anything for people with disabilities: “Nothing for us, without us.”

Put yourself in someone else’s shoes

Beatriz Garcia Sanchez is an Accessibility Testing and Developer in Madrid, working at Accenture since 2015. Currently, she is a part of the CIO Accessibility Team helping to support the remediation of Accenture applications to make them accessible.

As a deaf person, Beatriz uses two Widex SUPER 440 digital high-power headsets. It helps her to hear a little, even though she’s deeply deaf from birth (120 dB).

Beatriz is responsible for preparing test manuals and designing tests for web applications to ensure compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

An equal member of the team

Jonathan Bray is an Extended Reality Lead Developer, working at the Dock in Dublin. He works on innovative and cutting-edge solutions, such as virtual and augmented reality apps. One project of note includes work on the smart caption glasses program for the National Theatre in London.

Jonathan has Asperger’s Syndrome, part of the autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Autism is not an illness that can be “treated.” It affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.

For Jonathan, it means quite often he must run an extra mile while dealing with certain challenges or situations. Helping people learn more about what it means to live and work with autism shortens the distance between perception and reality.

One technology that Jonathan finds particularly helpful is a screen-reader program. Even though he can read, this useful tool makes it easy to go to any web page, e-mail or Word document, select the text and have it read it out loud.

“To me, inclusion is where I can feel like an equal member of the team,” says Jonathan. “And where I’m not to be afraid to be myself and reach out when I need support.”

Be yourself. Every day.

Every day at Accenture we strive for building an even better and more understanding workplace where everyone can be their true selves.

Be bold. Be brave. Be you.

Be who you are and do work that’s transforming the way the world works and lives. Find your fit with Accenture.

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