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How AI is being used to improve employment for people with disabilities

A crucial step in every career path involves a job seeker researching the requirements of a potential job in order to assess their own interests and qualifications. Interfaces for job boards work in some situations, but what if there was a better way for candidates to find out about a position? founder and CEO Alex Farr is encouraged that clients like Seattle Airport and OurAbility are using Zammo to make information more accessible. Now, he’s eager to expand that success by enabling any business with a job board and making it easy for anyone with a disability to use their voice to discover and apply for jobs.

OurAbility President John Robinson and Chief Engineer Guy Tonye reveal voice-enabled job search during disability-themed event at Microsoft Technology Center in Times Square, Manhattan, New York

On Zammo’s journey to apply AI in accessibility scenarios, they met Khadija Bari, student coordinator at VISIONS Services for the Blind. She opened up a whole new line of thought with a powerful question: “I am visually impaired. With [Zammo’s] voice platform now, I just need to talk to my home assistant, and I can get the information I need to help the participants I serve. We do it with so many other products, why not start doing it with jobs? “

An image of Khadija, Student Coordinator of VISIONS Services for the Blind
VISIONS student coordinator discusses the impact of voice-enabled job searching at a disability-themed event at the Microsoft Technology Center in Times Square, Manhattan, New York

This question led Zammo to explore how their solution could benefit the recruiting industry. Zammo’s intention is to learn from their prior knowledge, research, and ultimately produce accessible interfaces for various online job sites, enabling people with disabilities to obtain detailed job information, align their skills and easily complete an application. This project will leverage natural language processing and voice to create an interface that will allow clients to browse semi-structured data on various job search websites. Zammo’s platform combines Azure Bot Service, Azure Communication Service, Azure Cognitive Search and leverages the new version of Azure Semantic Search to deliver better search results given its understanding of the linguistic content of search terms.

To ensure that their final solution meets the real needs of people with disabilities, Zammo is partnering with Open Inclusion, an inclusive analysis, design and innovation consultancy. They help organizations unlock value by questioning, understanding, and addressing the needs of people who move, feel, think, or feel differently. Zammo’s project aligns with the goal of Open Inclusion – to make the world more inclusive and leverage technology to solve current needs by reducing friction in new ways.