Accessibility is Your Business Survival Tool: How Aging and Disability Will Impact Business Growth
One out of every five people, or 20% of the US population, live with a disability. This group is the largest unrecognized minority group in the US and the world. With the aging Baby Boom generation, this number is expected to grow exponentially. In fact, the National Institute of Health estimates that the number of people who are blind, or visually impaired, will double from 4 million to more than 8 million by the year 2050. At the same time, our workforce is shrinking. By the year 2030, 20% of us will be 65 or older. With the fertility rate at a historic low, worker replacement will slow considerably. (Pew Research) This session makes a convincing argument why engaging consumers and employees who live with disabilities are the future of business growth.
Attendees will learn:
1. Why this segment of the population is untapped.
2. How who this group chooses to doe business with can impact entire markets.
3. That workers living with disabilities are well-educated, and ready, to take on challenges in the work place.
4. Why many of us who live with disabilities become expert problem solvers in our daily lives, and how this skill can give you a competitive edge.
Lynn Wehrman, WeCo Founder/President, began her career working in digital accessibility as one of the first government digital accessibility specialists in 2008.
With an education in communications, and professional background in federal program coordination, her work on the Minnesota Department of Transportation's Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan resulted in ground breaking work in government digital accessibility. The experiences she had and people she met along the way led her to found The Wehrman Collaborative, or WeCo Accessibility Services.
Lynn was born with, and raised alongside four sisters, who lived with cognitive disabilities. Her extended family also included many members who lived with similar disabilities.
"From the time I was very young, I was always aware that we were different than other families. So many people in our extended family had Epilepsy that Columbia University included us in an extensive study on the disorder. Managing medication and symptoms was a natural part of life." - Lynn Wehrman
Being different, and competing in a world that didn't recognize invisible disabilities, Lynn grew up to be keenly aware that:
- Being "differently-abled" doesn't make a person incapable.
- People living with disabilities don't have a level playing field in academics and employment.
WeCo provides free training to talented individuals living with a wide variety of disabilities to work as Certified Test Consultants in delivering WeCo testing services. Led by a team of digital accessibility specialists, who also live with disabilities, WeCo is not only blazing an employment trail to engage people living with disabilities as subject matter experts in digital communication accessibility, it is putting organizations in direct contact with professionals who can help them make their website and software truly accessible to customers who live with disabilities. Learn more at: theweco.com