US Labor Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy announces $950,000 grant to establish Accessible Technology Action Center


The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy has announced a fund of $950,000 for grants that will be used to open and operate the Accessible Technology Action Center (ATAC), a new national resource that will facilitate and promote the use of accessible technology in the hiring, employment, retention and career advancement of individuals with disabilities. The ATAC will expand access to information and communication technologies in the workplace for people with disabilities. The center will promote the knowledge, technical skills, tools and leadership strategies needed to address accessibility issues, and will seek to raise awareness of the impact critical accessible workplace technologies have on competitive employment opportunities. The initial grant award will be for 12 months with the possibility of up to four optional years of funding, depending on the availability of funds and satisfactory performance. Grant applications will be accepted until Aug. 31, 2012.

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.