Adecco Foundation: 64% of people with disabilities can work due to new tech

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This article was written and published in Spanish and has been translated into English via Google Translate. Click here to read the original article.

The International Day of Appropriate Technologies was celebrated on July 15th, a date that invites us to reflect and analyze the impact of New Technologies in improving our quality of life. For the seventh consecutive year, the Adecco Foundation, with the support of Keysight Technologies Spain, presents the Technology and Disability report, an analysis that bases its conclusions on a survey of 300 people between 18 and 60 years old, all with some type of disability.

A clear conclusion emerges from this analysis: new technologies have become essential allies for the improvement and normalization of the lives of people with disabilities, as well as their access to employment. During the last years there has been a significant advance in the employment of people with disabilities, registering, in 2017, the best record of the entire historical series, with 110,068 contracts.

Thus, 64% of the people surveyed – of those who have jobs – admit that new technologies have been essential to perform their duties in the workplace. It is remarkable how this figure is increasing year after year:

According to Francisco Mesonero, General Director of the Adecco Foundation: “new technologies have meant a before and after in the employment of people with disabilities, allowing companies to recover the talent of many who, until now, remained excluded from the market labor. The development of conventional technology (mobile phones, tablets, apps, etc.), coupled with the emergence of different technological adaptations (mice and virtual keyboards, Braille printers, among many others), equates us all and reduces a gap that years, it seemed unavoidable.”

“In my job I use small adaptations to carry out my tasks. As a Tablet does not have enough capacity or system for many editing programs, I complement it with a desktop computer and with a program called VNC Viewer. This makes it possible to duplicate the computer screen to the iPad and use it both as a mouse and as a touch keyboard. That is, I control the computer and its programs from the iPad,” says Elena Buitrago, an employee of the Adecco Foundation, with a tetraplegia.

Technology that improves health and reduces dependency

The Unit is, according to the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality, a state of a permanent nature in which people who, for reasons derived from age, illness or disability, and linked to the lack or loss are found.

Technology is proving to be a great ally in reducing these situations of dependency, impacting, in addition, on the health of people with disabilities, by combating the difficulties they present in their daily lives: prostheses, electronic exercisers and other instruments of rehabilitation have been decisive contributions of the technology to the disability in the last several years.

It is noteworthy that almost 7 out of 10 respondents (69%) think that this dependency could be reduced through 2 variables: accessibility, and technological development that facilitates the development of people with disabilities. Other solutions include:

1) Give technology a more social dimension. Although in recent years there has been spectacular progress in inclusive technologies, the field of disability remains a great unknown for the technology sector. The challenge is to give technology a more social dimension, taking advantage of the expertise and know-how of technology companies.

2) Universal Accessibility. Although the app and technological tools can be designed specifically for certain disabilities, there are “Universal Design” guidelines, marked by the EU, so that products and services can be used by most people.

Telecommuting, an alternative

According to a recent analysis by the Directorate of Social Services of the Community of Madrid, teleworking could be a powerful alternative to guarantee participation in the employment of people with disabilities, especially when it affects their mobility.

This study identifies some positions that, at a national level, have a high contracting potential in the teleworking regime, mainly in the area of Customer Service and Information Technology: call center operator, data recorder, administrative, collection manager, web designer or programmer.

While it is true that 22% of companies develop telework initiatives, the reality is that the success of implementation of them is still low. According to the results of this survey, only 11% of people with disabilities, with jobs suitable for teleworking, have the possibility of performing their functions telematically.

This article was written and published in Spanish and has been translated into English via Google Translate. Click here to read the original article.

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Acerca de Lucas Vargas:

  • Empezó en Grupo ZAP como el VP de Sales y en 2016 cuando la empresa tenía 60 empleados. Fue nombrado COO de VivaReal tomando el mando de Brian Requarth el Co-Fundador. VivaReal lanzó en Colombia y se trasladó a Brasil. En 2017 se hizo CEO del Grupo ZAP.
  • Ha trabajado en Mexico en PWC y en el Banco Santander
  • Tiene un Master de Business Administration de Harvard
  • En noviembre este año después de la fusión de OLX Brasil y Grupo ZAP fue nombrado el CEO del OLX Business Unit. Lidera la empresa junto con Andries Oudshoorn y Marcos Leite
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Simon Baker is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Online Marketplaces and Property Portal Watch. Involved with property portals for 15 years, he’s a well-recognized expert and industry consultant.
As former CEO/MD of the REA Group for 8 years, Simon led the group to its current market-leading position. When he joined REA Group in 2001, it had $4m in revenues, $6m in losses and an $8m market cap.
By 2008, the company presided over $155m in revenues, $35m in EBITDA and enjoyed a peak market cap of $1b. Simon is currently Chairman of the Mitula Group and Real Estate Investar and a serial portal founder and, investor.