Every October during National Disability Employment Awareness Month businesses around the country reflect on and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. For 70 years, the Department of Labor used this time of year to showcase the talents of workers with disabilities and encourage diversity, inclusion and accessibility in the workplace. This year, the Department of Labor is focusing on the theme, “My Disability is One Part of Who I Am.” I am incredibly proud of AT&T’s commitment to the disabled community and to its employees with disabilities, and that commitment is especially meaningful to me because of my own disability.
As we celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month, I am proud to be at a company that strongly recognizes the value of employees with diverse backgrounds, creating an inclusive environment that empowers and enables them to do great things in and out of the workplace.
When I was five years old, I lost vision in my right eye. My family always encouraged me to overcome challenges and to never let setbacks stand in the way of my success. I am privileged to have worked with disability groups in Washington, D.C. that have inspired me to view my vision loss in a new way. While I have encountered challenges that have made me stronger, I am constantly impressed by the ways in which our world has become more accessible. These experiences give me a view of the world that is unique and propels me forward.
AT&T fosters an inclusive and accessible environment, where I am comfortable identifying myself as a person with a disability. AT&T encourages the use of technology as avenues for accessibility in the workplace and also maintains a focus on Universal Design skills in hiring, which will help us remain focused on creating and developing technology that is accessible to everyone. But our commitment to people with disabilities does not end there. AT&T continues to lead the way, developing and supporting the next generation of connected devices, including Real-Time Text, and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, which offer numerous benefits to many people, but particularly to people with disabilities and seniors.
AT&T’s commitment doesn’t just include its products and services, it brings those same values to its organization. My colleagues who, like me, have unique experiences because of disabilities bring different perspectives to the workplace. These perspectives allow AT&T to think critically and in a more dynamic way about the products and services they bring to the market, providing more connectivity and accessibility.
These devices and connected technologies offer new options and tools that people with disabilities can use to navigate daily life, to work, and to participate fully in our economy and our society. Connected Home and mHealth (mobile health) technologies offer improved quality of life, better health outcomes and management of chronic conditions, and even increased personal security and independence.
AT&T is proud to support individuals with disabilities by developing technological solutions to everyday challenges faced by many people. As we celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month, I am proud to be at a company that strongly recognizes the value of employees with diverse backgrounds, creating an inclusive environment that empowers and enables them to do great things in and out of the workplace.