An online accessible skills-driven job platform
- Jobs Ability
- Our Ability - Access to Opportunity
- Country of Implementation
- United States of America
- North America
- Start Year
- First published
“Employment is the greatest opportunity to achieve inclusion in society for persons with disabilities.” John Robinson, Founder, Our Ability and Jobs Ability
Our Ability, Inc. is an NGO specializing in disability employment services and supports, headquartered in Albany, New York. In 2018 Our Ability started Jobs Ability, an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven job matching service, using algorithms that focus on the skills and abilities of persons with disabilities. Each job seeker creates an individual account with support from an AI-driven chat bot, inserting skills, competencies, and education, which are then matched to existing jobs. Between 2018 and 2022 more than 12,000 connections have been made in the US and Canada.
Most job search websites use built-in AI, which filters applications based on what job applicants do not have, rather than the skills they have to offer.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
Our Ability’s AI-driven tool was developed in cooperation with Syracuse University and Microsoft. The Jobs Ability algorithm begins by matching a jobseeker’s key skills, abilities, and location to employer job postings, instead of using work history and experience. The tool uses a public chat bot, a private chat bot, and cognitive services to identify skills and match those skills to existing jobs. The more information that jobseekers add to their profile, the more Jobs Ability learns about them and makes better matches. Businesses can also search based on their hiring needs. Jobs Ability is accessible for multiple disabilities. It allows for use with screen readers, colour contrasts, and font size changes. Other features include an ADHD-friendly mode and an epilepsy-safe mode. Jobseekers can also interact with Abi, the virtual job coach. Our Ability cannot publish actual hiring figures due to data privacy regulations. In 2022 there were 2,100 jobseeker profiles on the US platform and more than 600 on the Canadian site.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
Businesses can subscribe or sponsor their participation on the platform. Annual subscriptions are based on the size of the organization/corporation and range from $10,000 to $50,000 in the United States, and from $1,500 to $10,000 in Canada. Jobseekers are able to use the website for free. Our Ability and the Ontario Disability Employment network are contributing funds to cover HR costs, such as development, coding, technical support, public awareness, and education on use of the platform. The goal for the sites is to be self-sustaining to ensure the longevity of the service.