CES 2024: Tech creating hiring pathways for people with disabilities

Matt Ater, vice president at Vispero, joined WorkingNation at CES 2024 to share his thoughts on technology helping job-seeking people with visual impairment

Technology has always been a “game changer,” according to Matt Ater, vice president, Vispero – which he explains “makes technology so blind people can live a good life.” Ater joined WorkingNation’s editor-in-chief Ramona Schindelheim for WorkingNation Overheard at CES 2024 in Las Vegas to share his thoughts on how technology is creating greater access for people who have disabilities.

Ater says when it comes to hiring people with disabilities, companies are still navigating that process. He reminds, “Keep in mind that disability is a very broad term. You could have permanent disabilities, temporary disabilities, and a wide range from cognitive to vision to hearing to mobility. Some are hidden disabilities where the corporations may not even know the person with a disability is working there.”

The CTA Foundation advocates for people with disabilities or those who are aging. Ater says not all companies are thinking the same way about accessibility for these populations. “There’s a lot of companies who may do it by design. They may choose to build accessibility in. Then there’s going to be companies who do it by accident – which is perfectly fine. We’re okay with that, as well. And then there’s going to be this whole other section of tech companies who just don’t do it right and haven’t even thought about it.”

He notes the “great technology” that’s showcased at CES 2024. “I saw something that was an AI-like robot that would be for somebody with dementia to be able to have natural conversations,” says Ater.

He adds, “The amount of over-the-counter hearing aids at this conference is unbelievable thanks to CTA and the efforts that they did with the hearing loss community to push for changes in the law – which cuts the cost of hearing aids drastically and improves the lives of not just people with disabilities, but people who are aging.

“From my perspective, what we’re seeing is the kinds of things the Foundation has done and CTA, in general, has done to up the game for serving those communities.”

Learn more about Vispero.
Learn more about the CTA Foundation.
Learn more about CES 2024.

Funding for WorkingNation Overheard at CES 2024 was provided, in part, by Walmart.