Software requirements for inclusive employment: accessibility, usability and user experience contributions
Authors: VIrgínia Chalegre, Ana Margarida Almeida
Abstract: There is one billion people with disabilities in the world. Of these, 785 million are of working age; but only 26.9% have a job, according to Research on Disability in 2014. One of the biggest reason for this phenomenon can be the lack of qualification of these people, according to the Brazilian Association of Human Resources in 2016 and the most common strategies used to find vacancies in companies are direct referral or referral through support entities. Digital media have an important role in creating new opportunities in this field; it is in this scenario that this study is being developed aiming to follow a user with disabilities-centered approach. This research aims to identify the characteristics of a digital application to promote the employability of people with disabilities. The concept of the application is based on a matching engine that will enable a mutual recognition of the candidates’ skills and of the characteristics of the opportunities available in the labour market.In order to understand the current scenario of using digital solutions to support the employability of people with disabilities, a brief benchmarking analysis was made; several tools were found that serve as a search engine for professional and talent opportunities. Some of them allow people to register their resume for free, including professionals of all profiles. Few of these tools use an assessment from the perspective of participatory culture, effective functionalities, usability, accessibility and experience of users with disabilities. It was also found that there are some inaccessible features in these tools that, consequently, hinder the integration of people with disabilities in the labour market. The evaluation was made from the user's perspective and the combination of usability heuristics and international accessibility guidelines. The relationship of these two areas is presented by means of a taxonomy, in order to facilitate the identification of problems that occur in the context of presentation and access to information. The number of users, market maturity and areas available for testing defined the tool selection criteria. Experts and users on personal computers and Android mobile applications performed automatic and manual evaluations.The results point to the existence of several critical errors that can prevent the use by many users (especially those with blindness, deafness and reduced mobility). It is therefore, mandatory to : (i) Increase the accessibility and usability of the existing tools, as the majority of them make it very difficult or even prevent the use of people with disabilities; (ii) improve the behavioural analysis component, considering the lack of information systems that simply survey and characterize profiles and the importance given to the technical characteristics of some companies evaluated; (iii) integrate features related to learning paths recommendation, because people with disabilities do not always know those paths, nor are they included in the qualification processes, a problem often inherited since basic education; follow a participatory approach, in an attempt to support and verify the approximation of people with companies and their sense of belonging, reception and integration by the existing recruitment and selection processes. From the applied tests and inspired by methodological strategies such as Co-Design, Design Thinking and Design Based Research, a set of requirements was identified involving the user in this design process. This requirements gathering process proved to be the basis for the proposal and allowed the specification of the digital solution. This list of requirements is expected to efficiently support the inclusive employment of people with disabilities, considering accessibility, usability and user experience dimensions. Hopefully the final solution will allow the connection between these users and companies, in a simple and intuitive way, and considering not only a set of technical dimensions, but especially behavioral ones, through an accessible interface, and promoting greater equity in inclusion people with disabilities in the labor market, like any other professional.
Keywords: User Centered Design, Accessibility, Usability Heuristics, Employability, People With Disabilities, Skills, User Experience
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