CareerOne: empowering blind and vision impaired job seekers

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Tuesday, 26 February 2013 16:36pm

CareerOne Australia has taken a step towards empowering job seekers who are blind by improving the accessibility of its website. This comes after its US parent, Monster, partnered with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) to help improve workforce participation amongst Americans with vision loss.

The recommendations made to Monster by the NFB have been carried across to CareerOne, ensuring that it has been optimised for screen reader and braille device users.

CareerOne is one of Australia’s largest job search networks. Users can post jobs, search, apply and read resources offering career advice. Such websites can present a number of barriers which could prevent someone using assistive technology from taking part. For instance, a poorly labelled form could stop someone from uploading a resume or refining a search result. 

CareerOne has evened out the playing field by making the following improvements:

  • Alternative text for images so that the function of an image on the website is conveyed to a screen reader user.
  • Improved structural mark-up so that headings and lists are clearly defined. This means that screen reader users can use headings or lists to navigate the site. For example, if a screen reader user is looking at specific content, they can jump from heading to heading.
  • Improved data tables which means data cells are associated with the correct table headers. This means information presented in a data table on the website is associated correctly.

The Accessibility Center section of the website also includes information on how to use a screen reader to:

  • Create an account
  • Create and edit a profile
  • Create and upload a resume
  • Find jobs
  • Save your search
  • Apply for jobs

While many of the accessibility features introduced on the website have improved it, some content posted by job agencies and organisations remains inaccessible. This could be improved by standardising the way jobs are posted on the website by providing an accessible template. However, CareerOne has stated it is "continuously improving our website and working to make it more accessible".

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2009 only 54 per cent of working age people with a disability participated in the workforce compared to 83 per cent of working age people who did not have a disability. The working age was defined in this report as 15-64 years old.

As one of the most visited job search websites in Australia, this accessibility overhaul is a positive step towards helping the disability community overcome barriers when looking and applying for jobs.

See also: our accessibility guide to LinkedIn.

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