Benefits to Employment
Current employees as well as applicants may not be able to perform their jobs well if their workstations are inaccessible. Not knowing about their productivity may put a big question mark over the heads of HR and supervisors when it comes to hiring and promoting employees with disabilities. Employers may be missing out on getting the best people for the job.
Current estimates are that only about 10% of people with disabilities have the AT they need, and there is no AT available for some disabilities. Workplace accommodations can be complex and confusing, because they require a good fit between what the employee can do and what the workstation requires. Employers have a legal burden to provide accommodations, but few of them have on-staff experts who can select, design, and implement them.
Many workplace productivity tools are moving to the cloud. GPII will build on that technology trend to add accessibility options right in the cloud, so employees can take advantage of it as they work.
In many cases employees and applicants will have already gone through the GPII Wizard, saving the time and resources required for an evaluation. The accommodation they need for work is the same familiar, effective one they've been using for shopping, web browsing, and controlling a home theater. These features will show up on the employee's workstation, whether it's a desktop computer, a mobile device, a hotel room on the road, a spare cubicle, or a remote office, as soon as he/she logs in.
Because education and employment drive so much of the accessibility world, many of the AT solutions available through GPII will be optimized for use in the workplace. ICT vendor companies will make their hardware and software 'GPII-ready'; this will let employers select and implement workplace ICT that will accommodate their employees. It may be possible to pay for GPII-based services by subscription -- only pay for what gets used, as long as it is needed -- reducing capital costs and the waste of abandoned technology.
If an employer's ICT is public-facing as well, the same instant personalization features will serve its customers.
GPII will take accommodation out of the HR picture -- it's between the user and the AT solution provider. In some cases there will be public sector funding for the ongoing services.
Employers are paying higher disability insurance rates and taxes due to the underemployment of qualified workers with disabilities.
GPII will create new ways for accessibility experts to serve employers enterprise-wide, with per-seat payment options. This would eliminate dealing with each disabled employee as a special case requiring individual management attention and resources.
GPII holds the promise of certain other advantages for employers:
- Rehab centers and job centers may be able to simulate workplace ICT over GPII, so applicants are evaluated on "the real thing" and prepared for productivity. This turns their transition to work into a staged, carefully monitored process. They may even be able to begin actual work tasks from the center.
- GPII supports accommodations for temporary employees, and for permanent employees with temporary disabilities.
- GPII will accommodate employees as they age into disabilities.
- Employees can use the same accommodations after hours, for working at home.