Creating an inclusive and accessible recruitment process is not only law, but is key to identifying talented people as potential employees.
A workplace which takes into account inclusion and accessibility as part of good business enables a person who is blind or vision impaired to meaningfully contribute and enrich a business or organisation.
Advertising a Position
The strategies below are intended to ensure that the way in which you advertise a vacant position is accessible to all people, including those who are blind or vision impaired.
- Be innovative in the way you construct your job description so you don’t unintentionally rule out applicants who could do the job. For example, having a driving licence is becoming a standard criteria, but many jobs don’t actually require you to drive. A person who is blind could use public transport or ride share services which also reduces costs that are associated with fleet motor vehicles.
- Make the content of your job adverts accessible. Use plain English, avoiding jargon, be precise and use at least font size 12. Be clear about the essential requirements of the role so people can make their own decisions about whether to apply.
- Avoid using PDF documents that cannot be read by a screen reader. Its best to use a word document so that someone using assistive technology can read the information easily.
- Consider the level of flexibility in receiving information from an applicant as part of the application process. What information are you trying to share, and can you get it in alternative ways. For example, could people send in a video application rather than an online written one.
- To reduce the risk of unconscious bias, where possible two people (at least) should be involved in the shortlisting of candidates.
In any interview situation be prepared and organised. This includes considering people’s access needs and the accessibility of the interview.
A candidate is not required to disclose their disability in their application, this means you may be interviewing people who have a disability that you are not aware of. For this reason, it is important to be aware that a candidate may have a disability and prepare accordingly.
- Hold the interview in an accessible location: are there stairs? Is there lift access? Do you need to meet the interviewee at a reception desk?
- Ensure you provide each candidate with detailed information about how to get to the interview location.
- Ensure that the meeting space is accessible. You may need to consider the width of the door, furniture placement, space in the room, lighting and background noise.
- When you greet a person who is vision impaired and extend your hand for them to shake they may not see this. Instead, wait for them to extend their hand and then shake it.
- Explain to the candidate who else is in the room, and where they are located. For example, John is seated directly across from you to your left, I am in front of you and Emma is next to me on your right.
- You may also wish to describe anything else of note in the room. For example, we may take some notes, there is a glass of water on the desk in front of you near your right hand and the exit is immediately to your right.
- If the candidate is required to complete any paperwork at the interview stage discuss their preferred method for doing so. It may be best to offer to email this to them so they can complete it electronically and return it to you.
- If the interview process requires skills testing, such as completing online questionnaires, ensure that these are accessible to people using screen reading and screen magnifying technology (you can ask the provider of the program you use). Candidates who are blind or vision impaired may be better placed to complete the testing using their own computer with assistive technology; discuss the requirements of the testing with your candidate and they will be able to come up with an appropriate solution.
If you would like to make your workplace more accessible to people who are blind or vision impaired, Blind Citizens Australia has prepared a number of resources for both employers and recruiters. These resources cover topics such as workplace accessibility and safety, discrimination and frequently asked questions. These are available HERE.
The Accessible Recruitment Guide was created by Media Access Australia to provide practical ‘real world’ guidance on how best to address accessibility-related issues in recruitment and human resources management. You can download the accessible recruitment guide here:
You may also like to look at the Accessible Recruitment Checklist.