Guidebook on

Accessibility of Online Job Application and Recruitment Systems


This Guidebook was written and developed by ITU expert Ricardo García Bahamonde. It was prepared within the scope of the ITU-ILO project on accessibility of online job application and recruitment systems, under the supervision and guidance of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau Digital Society Division, with input provided by Jürgen Menze (Disability Inclusion Officer, ILO) and Stefan Tromel (Senior Disability Specialist, ILO).


Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have the potential to help build stronger communities and assist people to pursue their goals and ambitions, including in the world of work. Every person should have the right to benefit fully from the digital transformation, regardless of factors such as disability, gender, age, race or where they live.

List of abbreviations

AI Artificial intelligence
CAPTCHA Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart
COVID-19 Coronavirus disease 2019
What i can do better ?



Accessible information and communication technology (ICT) can level the playing field for persons with disabilities across many areas of life, including education and employment. Technology can be a major catalyst for the full participation of persons with disabilities.

1.1. Accessibility of Job Portals in the United Nations system

The United Nations (UN) is committed to fostering diversity and inclusion and is taking concrete steps to create a work environment that is open, inclusive of and accessible to persons with disabilities and staff with dependents ....

1.2. Accessibility Standards

As established by Article 9 of the UNCRPD, the right to access for persons with disabilities is ensured through strict implementation of accessibility standards. Article 9 sets out accessibility requirements and standards whose...

1.3. The Business Case for Accessibility of job portals

Organizations need to obtain a better understanding of why building a Business Case for the accessibility of online job application platforms may be relevant driver to create more diverse workforce's ...

Implementing information and communication technology/digital accessibility requirements and standards to ensure the inclusivity of online recruitment systems

Employers worldwide, including United Nations entities, are encouraged to make their careers websites digitally accessible to avoid preventing or dissuading job seekers with disabilities from applying and to make the applicant base as broad as possible. Accessing a larger talent pool can help employers fill jobs more quickly in an increasingly competitive job market.

2.1. Identifying and overcoming accessibility and usability barriers

Long, complicated and potentially inaccessible online job applications risk preventing applicants from moving forward with the recruitment process. ….

2.2. Making recruitment processes more accessible and inclusive, and its impact on employment of persons with disabilities

For the last decade, the employment gap between disabled and non-disabled people has stayed at around 30% for the last decade. With many organizations struggling to recruit and retain talent...

2.3. Algorithms and artificial intelligence: Disability discrimination risks in hiring and how to prevent them

As organizations receive more and more applications for a single vacancy, they have no choice but to use software to automate the process of examining and narrowing down the pool of candidates ...

2.4. Case study: Good practices in recruitment processes for persons with disabilities in Serbia

I couldn't wait to get started: Voices from inclusive workplaces in the Republic of Serbia is a good practice guide on the employment of persons with disabilities …

Accessibility of online job application platforms

3.1. Introduction

In 2021, ILO and ITU conducted a project entitled “Accessibility of online job application and recruitment systems” with …

3.2. Designing and developing inclusive online job application platforms: Improving accessibility and user experience

Accessibility is what gives applicants an equitable way of controlling and using technology through a user interface. Both ...

3.3. Testing online job application platforms for accessibility

Evaluating the accessibility and usability of online job application platforms can help determine the level of difficulty that some persons ...

Creating accessible digital content

This section includes practical, easy-to-follow guidance and recommendations for creating accessible digital content in commonly used formats. For more detailed guidance, and given the abundance and variety of guides, best practices and methodologies available on the Internet, readers are encouraged to review the resources at the end of the guide and perform their own Internet research.8

4.1. Word

When generating a document, it is often unknown whether the document will ultimately be distributed through the organization’s website ...

4.2. PowerPoint

PowerPoint slide show presentations are used to convey visual information, including text, images, graphics, tables and charts ...

4.3. Excel

There are general recommendations that must be considered when generating Excel documents, regardless of how they are distributed ...

4.4. PDF

Portable Document Format (PDF) is an open standard for electronic documents. As its use has become common, it is essential that ...

4.5. Online Forms

Forms can be visually and cognitively complex and challenging to use ...

4.6. Images

Graphic elements such as images, charts, icons and infographics on websites and digital documents can serve different purposes ...

4.7. Video

Video and audio are powerful means of conveying content and engaging audiences effectively. However, they can also ...

8   The ITU Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D) has produced video tutorials on the creation of accessible digital documents in English, French and        Spanish, which are available free of charge and in a digitally accessible format.


Annex 1

Accessible online job application and recruitment systems in the context of the United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy

Annex 2

Web accessibility policies and standards

Annex 3

Executive summary of the project entitled “Accessibility of online job application and recruitment systems”



The degree to which a product, device, service or environment (virtual or real) is available to as many people as possible

Assistive technology

Separate hardware or software added to equipment or services to enable persons with more severe disabilities to overcome barriers faced in gaining access to information and communication. Assistive technology enables or compensates for the capabilities of users with functional, motor, sensory or intellectual impairments.


A process that includes the examination, interaction with, and observation of individuals or groups with actual or potential health conditions, impairments, activity limitations or participation restrictions. Assessment may be required for rehabilitation interventions or to gauge eligibility for educational support, social protection or other services.