A woman in a wheelchair works at a desk.

Accessible Workplace

Accessible Workplace

The Accessible Workplace Lab develops new workplace technologies and strategies that maximize the independence and participation of people with disabilities in the workplace. The lab provides educational products and resources to support those trying to improve workplace accessibility. Particular interests include the use of accessible information and communications technology (ICT) in the workplace, the development of an evidence base of what accommodations work in which situations, and the use of inclusive/universal design practices to support all employees, including older workers.

Current Projects

Woman using high contrast keyboard for accessibility at work.

Assistive Software Knowledgebase for Computers and Mobile Devices

Principal Investigator: Karen Milchus

The Assistive Software Knowledgebase is a centralized resource for information about computer software/apps that enables an employee with a disability to use a computer or perform other work tasks. The site includes searchable information about features, usage tips, compatibility, and user experiences with a variety of software (e.g., screen readers or scheduling apps). The resource was developed as a collaboration of CATEA (Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access) and AMAC.

Two women using a computer with a high contrast keyboard

Workplace Accommodation Access Support System (Work ACCESS)

Principal Investigator: Karen Milchus and Carolyn Phillips

The majority of workplace accommodations are determined not by trained service providers, but by employers and/or the employees themselves.  Unfortunately, these groups lack information about the full range of accommodation options that are available, and lack information about what options work best in which situations.  Work ACCESS is addressing this need by creating an easy-to-use workplace-accommodation assessment system that helps employers and employees make intelligent choices about the most appropriate accommodations.  The website/mobile app collect information about personal, task, and environmental factors and determine potential solutions (e.g., assistive technologies, strategies, universal features).  The system’s decision trees are based on crowd sourcing, research on accommodation best practices, and the reported accommodation outcomes of system users.

Three people gathered around a laptop computer on a desk

The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Accommodations, Employment Supports and Success for People with Physical Disabilities

Principal Investigator: Karen Milchus

This new national center will focus on the impacts of workplace accommodation practices on employment outcomes for people with physical disabilities.  This focus is based on research conducted by CIDI and by others that show the positive impact of accommodations on employment outcomes, yet also show that employees are not getting the accommodations and workplace supports that they need.