2003 Conference Proceedings

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HOW ACCESSIBLE TECHNOLOGY PLANS ALLOW BUSINESS TO ACCOMMODATE WORKERS WITH DISABILITIES

Presenters
Janet Fiore, CEO
The Sierra Group, Inc.
491 Allendale Road
Suite 320
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Phone: 610-992-0288 ext. 10
Email: janetfiore@thesierragroup.com

Michael G. Fiore
Rehabilitation Engineer
The Sierra Group, Inc.
491 Allendale Road
Suite 320
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Phone: 610-992-0288 ext. 11
Email: michaelfiore@thesierragroup.com

In order for people with disabilities to work, many use Assistive Technology. In order for businesses to hire these workers, they need to know HOW to integrate the assistive technology into their business. Employers, human resource professionals and rehabilitation professionals involved with job placement for people with disabilities won't want to miss this session that describes a comprehensive plan for incorporating cutting edge technologies and techniques to maximizing human potential while eliminating disability related barriers to employment.

Accessible Technology planning needs to consider many variables. Some of these variables include addressing requirements of laws such as the ADA, OSHA, and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Other variables such as how assistive technology can work conveniently with a company's legacy systems and how to maintain production requirements while including worker's with disabilities factor into the mix.

Presenter, Janet Fiore is CEO of The Sierra Group, Inc. a nationally renowned rehabilitation-engineering consultancy that is working to reverse the rate of unemployment for people with disabilities across America. Sierra's approach to accessible technology planning is featured in Microsoft's recent book, ACCESSIBLE TECHNOLOGY IN TODAY'S BUSINESS: CASE STUDIES FOR SUCCESS, Microsoft Press, 2002.

Sierra is routinely called upon to assist business, government, and agencies on how to use Accessible Technology and create Accessible Technology Plans designed to change America's workplace while making a significant, noticeable difference in the lives of people with disabilities. Sierra crafts creative solutions and systems that expand people's capacities beyond their learning difficulties, vision impairments, speech issues, mobility and dexterity concerns or repetitive stress injuries. In pursuit of their goal, Sierra is assisting with the efforts of the Congressional Disability caucus led by Rhode Island Congressman James Langevin. Janet Fiore recently testified before the United States Congress, House Committee on Small Business to address the major role that businesses are playing in helping individuals with disabilities lead productive lives through employment.

The Fiores' approach concurs with Microsoft C.E.O. Steve Ballmer who states, "As the capabilities of assistive technology and software advance, the possibilities are virtually limitless." Sierra engineer, Michael Fiore, assistive technology expert and contributor to the Microsoft book, has 10 years of experience, in finding the right assistive technology, training people how to use it, and integrating the technology and business strategies into a work scenario. This complicated puzzle is one that the presenters solve on a daily basis.

Janet experiences first hand what it is like to live and work with a hidden disability and will share with the audience how they can begin to build their organization's Accessible Technology Plans. Participants will leave armed with this new information, and poised to take actions to change the currently dismal employment picture for people with disabilities.

Attendees will learn:

  1. HOW technology assists a person with a disability at work.
  2. HOW to find it and implement cost effective accommodations.
  3. HOW to find the "hidden Assistive Technology" already built into some of the platforms used by businesses.
  4. HOW to begin building a comprehensive Accessible Technology Plan.

This informative session will be presented lecture style, with technology demonstrations and audience questions answered throughout.

Janet D. Fiore, CEO
491 Allendale Road, Suite 320
King of Prussia, PA 19406
1-800-973-7687
janetfiore@thesierragroup.com 
http://www.thesierragroup.com


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