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Small Business in a Box: Enabling Entrepreneurship with Accessible Tech

Small business entrepreneurship has laid the foundation for economic growth within all sectors of the US Economy. New technology is making it easier than ever for a person to take their idea and build it into a successful business. This is especially important for the disability community, where underemployment and lack of growth opportunities leaves many with low-income employment and social support. According to the 2012 American Community Survey, 67% of working-age adults with a disability reported lack of employment.

Biz Ability consolidates the available, accessible technology that supports the various aspects of running a small business in many areas including customer management, social networking, employee payroll, point of sale and bookkeeping among others. It also explores the growing presence of mobile and cloud-based applications for business management

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Small Business in a Box: Enabling Entrepreneurship with Accessible Tech

  1. 1. Small Business in a Box: Enabling Entrepreneurship with Accessible Tech J.J. Meddaugh, Ted Drake CSUN 2015 BizAbility.Org This  presentation  was  developed  for  the  CSUN  2015  conference  by  JJ  Meddaugh  and  Ted  Drake.   For  more  information,  visit   Business  in  a  Box  evaluates  tools  and  services  to  make  small  business  management  easier  for  entrepreneurs  with  disabilities  and  recommends  next  steps  toward  attaining  universal  access.    
  2. 2. INTRODUCING TED DRAKE J.J. Meddaugh, A T Guys, Blind Bargains - entrepreneur @atguys Ted Drake, Intuit - small business software @ted_drake
  3. 3. Entrepreneurship provides employment opportunities for many individuals with a disability. Efficient management requires a set of tools that enable sales, business management, financial reporting, and education. This presentation seeks a solution to discovering these resources. photo: Child Entrepreneur Lemonade Stand 50 Cents Each Qiqi Lourdie June 24, 2011 by Steven Depolo on Flickr
  4. 4. Benefits • Not bound by location • Choose your technologies • Set your own hours
  5. 5. Problem for small businesses • What technologies are accessible • Lack of peers and mentors • Finding education resources • Unsure where to start
  6. 6. Small Business Accessibility Toolkit BizAbility.Org BizAbility.Org is an online collection of software, applications, devices, and resources that provide an accessible experience for small business owners, entrepreneurs, and employees. This is to be a living document and depends on feedback from users. Toolkit includes basic information on a product and their accessibility functionality. Photo: Toolbag with power tools by Mark Hunter on Flickr
  7. 7. Product Inclusion • Provides a function necessary for establishing and running a small business • Factors for being considered accessible: • Product has been tested for accessibility • Endorsed by a user • Product has an accessibility team and making progress While the items within the toolbox are affordable, and many are free, cost was not a determining factor. While researching products for this toolbox, surveys were sent to small businesses, product accessibility managers, forums, and social media for suggestions.
  8. 8. Mobile Mobile technology has become key to small business management. Mobile payment solutions enable low cost credit card processing. Invoicing, estimates, note taking, and account management can be handled on location. Many mobile applications are more accessible than their older desktop equivalents. There are tools and backend functionality that is not available on a mobile application. photo: Even Elmo has a mobile phone by Ed Bourdon on Flickr
  9. 9. Product Categories • Accounting • Education • Inventory • Management • Marketing • Online Stores • Payroll • Point of Sale • Shipping BizAbility is broken into the key categories for business management.
  10. 10. Point of Sale Point of Sale is where the consumer completes the process of purchasing goods and services. There are several mobile solutions for credit card processing. This also includes bar code scanners and devices that improve communication. Photo “we take cards” by Joel Wachs
  11. 11. Square The Square Stand for iPad bypasses the headphone jack, which is a common accessibility problem. Square provides an accessible interface for consumers and business owners.
  12. 12. WireTap Wire tap is a headphone splitter that separates the input an output. This means you can record via one port and listen from another port. Originally this was design ed for musicians, but it also works for credit card scanners and listening to a screen reader at the same time. Wire tap works with Square and reportedly with PayPal.
  13. 13. AfterShokz Bone Conducting Headphones It’s difficult to listen to a screen reader while also having a conversation with a customer or paying attention to ambient sounds. Bone conducting headphones leave the ears exposed and send the sound waves through the skull.
  14. 14. Online Stores Online businesses are great opportunities for individuals with limited mobility. Today, there are many platforms for starting an online business, the only limit is your time and imagination. photo: www by Daniel Kulinski on Flickr
  15. 15. WordPressWP Accessibility Woo Commerce uses WordPress + WP Accessibility + Woo Commerce WordPress is an open source platform that is extremely flexible and offers many accessible templates and plugins. WP Accessibility by Joe Dolson fixes and improves the accessibility of WordPress Woo Commerce is an open source ecommerce solution. The default theme is accessible. Drupal is also a great content management system photo: the Three Musketeers by Pascal on Flickr
  16. 16. Etsy Amazon eBay Many businesses tie into large e-commerce solutions for selling, receiving payment, and managing inventory. Etsy is an online market place for hand crafted and vintage items. Amazon allows companies to list and sell their items within their platforms. It also provides great affiliate opportunities for highlighting their merchandise and receiving a commission on sales. eBay and PayPal allow companies to sell online and collect payments.
  17. 17. Accounting Accounting includes much more than balancing a checkbook. It also includes projecting sales, tracking popular products, watching invoice due dates, scheduling payments, and organizing employees and their wages. Today’s accounting tools are also flexible and tie into third party Point of Sale, inventory, and payroll systems. Photo: Accounting the old way by Laura Gilmore on Flickr
  18. 18. Intuit QuickBooks QuickBooks is the industry standard for small business accounting. QuickBooks Desktop is the most accessible solution, when combined with scripting for JAWS, Window-Eyes, and NVDA. QuickBooks Online works seamlessly with mobile applications. More on accessibility:
  19. 19. Online Banking Chase PNC PayPal - payment
  20. 20. Marketing and Social Media How do you acquire new customers and tell the world about your business? These tools provide marketing advise, management, and social media presence. Photo: layout zz by Dolina Wiedzy on wikimedia
  21. 21. Accessible Twitter Clients • Chicken Nugget: Windows • Easy Chirp: Web App • Web App Chicken Nugget and Easy Chirp are built to be accessible from the ground up. Each allows you to create tweets and view your Twitter stream. Twitter’s web site provides the most accessible option.
  22. 22. Email Mailing list Sendy: self-hosted mailing list software. Works with Amazon’s Simple email service. Mail Chimp Demand Force from Intuit, provides integrated marketing, emails, and appointment reminders for small businesses. photo: email by Dennis Skley on Flickr
  23. 23. Education and Training These online resources will provide the education and training needed to efficiently start and run a small business. Many of these resources are free and range from economics theory to the nuts and bolts of entrepreneurship. photo: education by Sean MacEntee on Flickr
  24. 24. Featured Education Product These three provide transcripts and/or captioning. They may also provide downloadable course outlines, handouts, and supporting web sites. iTunes U and Khan Academy are free, while is a subscription-based business. Lynda: iTunes U: Khan Academy:
  25. 25. Payroll Tools Payroll can quickly become a complicated process for companies. A robust accounting software will make it easy to track employee’s hours, wages, taxes, vacation time, and much more. photo: payday by JD Hancock on flickr
  26. 26. Intuit Payroll Intuit Payroll is a subscription service that integrates with QuickBooks. It provides paycheck distribution, tax documentation, and employee management. The iOS applications are very accessible. The QuickBooks Desktop integration is also accessible.
  27. 27. Shipping Completing a purchase is only the first step for many businesses. These tools will help your business track inventory, package, and manage shipping costs. photo: drop shipping by Grisel D´An on Flickr
  28. 28. Endicia Use the Dazzle Endicia software to print postage from a desktop interface. The Windows version has been tested and is mostly accessible for shipping needs. This also works well with the Dymo scale:
  29. 29. Current Progress
  30. 30. Resources • AppleVis Forum • Accessibility Clearinghouse - FCC • Blind Bargains • Images are creative commons from Flickr and WikiMedia
  31. 31. Future Steps • Identify funding and resources to ensure site is properly maintained and updated • Develop a best practices guide for companies who wish to implement accessibility in their business tools, or link to existing guides which serve this purpose • Explore training modules, classes, or other educational tools to enable business ownership and management by individuals with disabilities
  32. 32. @biz_access