Overcoming digital barriers in employment

Digital barriers in the work environment can be a major obstacle for persons with disabilities to actively participate in modern working life. With funding from the Norwegian Children, Youth and Family Directorate, Funka has examined how financial systems work for persons with disabilities and provided solutions.

Digitalization in combination with assistive technology means increased opportunities for persons with disabilities to actively participate in employment. But this is only true when IT systems used in the workplace are accessible. The project "Solutions for overcoming digital barriers for increased employment among people with disabilities" has recently been completed. The goal was to provide a practical method to help solve the digital problems that make it difficult or impossible for this target group to enter the labor market.

In the project, we have focused on finding solutions to overcome digital barriers by examining the accessibility issues found in the most widely used financial systems. How crucial these barriers are, and for which users, have also been mapped. Then a number of solutions have been developed.

In this review, the most used features of financial systems were tested, such as invoices or registering purchases. We found similar challenges in most systems. Throughout, there were incorrect use of code, contrast problems, and some objects could not be accessed with the keyboard. These problems especially affect people with motor or visual impairments.

Within the framework of the project, we have developed a guide to employers, with solutions and shortcuts that can easily be used in workplaces, so that financial systems can be managed by everyone and that employers can provide better support for their employees when needed. Financial system suppliers have also received individual concrete reports with suggested improvements.

Thank you very much for a good and detailed report! You have really done a good job. It is now handed over to our UX designer to see what measures we can do in the short and long term. So I hope we will get even better results in a potential analysis in the future, says Emelie Caspara Røed Kjønnerud, Product Manager at Visma Mamut AS.

The results from the study show that the systems are not developed with accessibility in mind. Although they provide some help like short cuts, instructional films, customer support and the like, there are deficiencies in the systems themselves. With the reports, we hope that the providers start using the knowledge and improving their products.

In a previous assignment Funka made for the Directorate, we examined the digital barriers that exist in the labor market, where financial systems turned out to be a common barrier. This result led us to the project that we have now finished.

After the end of the project, we were invited to present the results for an interested audience at the recurring networking meeting UnIKT Forum, organized by the Directorate in Oslo.

Project for an inclusive labor market