US Government sets assistive app challenge

Tuesday, 29 May 2012 16:08pm

A challenge announced last week by the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) could see a suite of apps developed to help boost employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

The goal of the app challenge is to increase employment levels for people with disabilities by promoting resources using accessible mobile technology to assist both employers and job seekers. 

Each app submitted to the challenge should achieve at least one of the following goals:

  • Promote recruitment resources for employers
  • Develop job training and skill building tools for job seekers
  • Facilitate employment-related transportation options
  • Expand web and Information Communication Technology Accessibility.

Assistant secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy, Kathy Martinez, said, “Using today’s technology, we hope to inspire creative and innovative solutions to the pressing employment-related problems faced by people with disabilities.”

This announcement could see exciting projects come out of the US which will have the potential to increase employment opportunities for people with a disability the world over. This could include projects such as BrailleTouch, an app which turns any iPhone into a quick and easy Braille keyboard. This particular tool is just one of many which boost productivity for blind and vision impaired people in the workplace.

The challenge will run until August 23 and is open to citizens and permanent residents of the United States as well as businesses and organisations that are primarily based in the US. The top three submissions will be awarded a total of $US10,000 in cash prizes and promoted on government websites.


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