Remote work has long been a good reasonable accommodation for some people with disabilities. It’s now become much more common for companies to allow employees to work at home or split time between home and the office.
There are a lot of tools out there for working from home. Here’s a list of remote work tools that include accessibility features for people with disabilities.
Work-from-home tools with accessibility features
Google Meet has accessibility features like live captions and screen readers. It also has keyboard accessibility, so users can control the camera and microphone and open accessibility features using the keyboard.
Grammarly is an app to help with writing and editing. It also has a “tone detector” feature. This can provide customized alerts about qualities like “friendliness” and “formality.” Some people might find that feature especially helpful for remote work, when written communication can take on more importance.
JAWS is screen-reading software for Windows, available by subscription. It enables blind and visually impaired users to read the screen either with a text-to-speech output or by a refreshable Braille display.
Krisp is a noise-canceling app that removes background noise from your calls. This feature could be useful for people with hearing loss. Krisp is designed to be used with most video calling software.
Microsoft Teams collaboration software has several accessibility tools, including live captions, transcriptions, and keyboard shortcuts. Microsoft also offers advice for people using screen readers with Microsoft Teams.
Mural is an app for visual collaboration. It features keyboard accessibility, so users can take part in virtual whiteboarding sessions without a mouse.
Otter can transcribe notes from meetings, interviews, lectures, and other voice conversations. The app syncs audio, text, and images to create shareable and accessible transcripts.
Slack is a chat software that teams can use for remote communication. Slack has several accessibility features, including screen reader integrations and keyboard accessibility shortcuts.
Speechify is an advanced text-to-speech app that can sync across devices. That means that if you create a file on one device, like your laptop or phone, you can keep using it later on another device.
Web Captioner is a free app that provides real-time captioning. It can recognize speech in over 40 languages and dialects. It works with a microphone, basic earbuds, or any other audio input device.
Zoom is a videoconferencing app that’s compliant with accessibility standards, including WCAG 2.1 AA and Section 508. It has keyboard accessibility, closed caption capability, transcripts, and screen reader support.
Working from home as a reasonable accommodation
When the essential functions of a job can be performed remotely, it’s helpful to have a work-from-home policy in place. This can help companies efficiently meet accommodation requests from employees with disabilities.
It’s important for employers to be aware of their responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission offers advice for how to approach remote work as a reasonable accommodation.
Looking for more information about accommodations at work?
- Check out this workplace accommodations fact sheet.
- Explore examples of other types of workplace accommodations.
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About the author
Molly Touger is a writer and instructional designer based in Brooklyn, New York.