Importance of employer empathy.

Imagine while searching for work (something many of us are doing these days) you find the perfect job. The job meets all your requirements for hours, benefits and potential pay. Also, your skills are a good fit for what is being asked for in the job description. A perfect match.

You send in your resume, visit with staff on a couple interviews and eventually secure the job. Things are looking up. Life is good.

On the first day of work, after meeting the other staff, the boss guides you to your very own work environment where the mouse and keyboard are built into the ergonomic desk. The company increased productivity by using this design and saved money by making all work environments uniform.

There is a problem, however. One small little detail someone failed to mention. The mouse is on the left side of the keyboard. You are right handed.

In the story above, one can imagine the fear the employee in this situation would feel; especially if the employee is required to spend a lot of time navigating the computer software for information.

The story above paints a clear picture of what someone with a disability might feel when they start their job and the phone is not accessible to them.

Simple things that many take for granted like knowing who is calling or who you have on hold or who you have a missed call from can be a nightmare for someone with vision loss. Other things like dialing, answering or ending a call for someone with a mobility impairment may not be doable at all.

While the government through Section 508 and other accessibility rules attempts to minimize the chance of this happening, a wide number of individuals still experience it. We do our best to educate the masses that an accessible website is not the only thing an employer should concentrate on in regards to its staff and customers. The second used tool behind the personal computer in any office is the phone. An accessible phone is the answer for some.

With accessaphone, users with vision loss can hear the name of the caller through Audible Caller ID or know who the call was missed from thanks to the built-in text to speech. Dragon Naturally Speaking users with a mobility impairment can command using their voice and accessaphone.

Employers, if hiring a new employee is on the agenda, is it not a good idea to make sure that employee is productive? What are the costs for that loss of productivity? Put yourself in the shoes on the user in the story mentioned above and imagine how productive you would be.

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