Disability Employment App Challenge


The Social Security Administration and Department of Education have issued a challenge; create an app that will help address the issue that people with disabilities have a significantly higher unemployment rate and a lower labor force participation rate that the general population. According to the Department of Labor, people with disabilities have a 20.3% labor force participation rate compared to 69.1% for their non-disabled peers, and people with disabilities have an unemployment rate of 12.5% compared to 7.6% for their non-disabled peers. This represents a significant loss of willing and able talent to the American workforce, a loss of income for people without jobs, and an economic loss to the American economy.
The Apps submitted should accomplish at least one of these goals:
Promote Recruitment Resources for Employers:
These features should provide recruitment resources for employers to identify individuals with disabilities to hire by using tools such as Career One-Stops Centers, state Vocational Rehabilitation agencies, employment networks, educational institutions and programs, non-profit organizations, and private recruitment resources.
Develop Job Training and Skill-Building Tools for Job Seekers:
These features should include vocational and workforce training resources, apprenticeship, internship, and mentorship resources, resume tips, as well as resources and tools related to “soft skills” (e.g., interview skills, etc.).
Facilitate Employment-Related Transportation Options:
These features should use publicly available resources to expand individuals with disabilities access to and knowledge of accessible employment-related transportation options.
Expand Web and Information Communication Technology (ICT) Accessibility:
These features should use publicly available tools regarding website and ICT accessibility that will help employers improve their systems to be accessible to applicants with disabilities, as well as current employees.
The submission period closes on August 23rd at 11:00 pm EDT. First, second and third place will receive cash prizes of 5,000, 3,000, and 2,000 respectively. Winners will be announced August 29th at 11:00 am EDT.

Learn more about the Disability Employment App Challenge on YouTube

Universal Design (UD) is an approach to design that increases the potential for developing a better quality of life for a wide range of individuals. It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012). It creates products, systems, and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.