For nearly 2 years, COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on daily life. But for all of its challenges, the pandemic also dramatically changed the way we think about work and how we do it. One focus during this ongoing change has been to strengthen communications – with a significant portion of the workforce working outside the office – and find new ways to make those connections happen. 

The goal: Create new ways to help bring everyone together. That goal provided an almost unprecedented opportunity to advance the status of diversity and inclusion from an afterthought to a priority. 

What have we learned from this experience? And what are some of the lessons from 2020 and 2021 that we all can carry into 2022? Here is a look at 5 of those lessons, with each harkening back to some of the stories on the AT&T Accessibility site that can provide some greater context.

5 Accessibility lessons

One

Stay in tune with the disability community and avoid the myths about accessibility.

Misinformation about accessibility is often perpetuated by those who don’t know what it entails or how many people are affected. The solution is to actively learn about and dispel the many myths surrounding accessibility. 

Two

Hire people with disabilities.

They will enrich your team. They will also provide invaluable insights and perspectives for everyone’s benefit. Avoid assumptions about what people “can’t” do.

Three

Be empathetic. Not every disability is obvious.

Invisible disabilities’’ come in many forms including autism spectrum disorder, depression, diabetes and chronic pain.

Four

Keep up to date on what’s happening within the accessibility field.

It's constantly growing and changing. If you manage or provide input into web design, there are basic concepts to consider so that you can welcome users of diverse abilities.

Five

Make “virtual” a skillset and an ever-present option.

The world will eventually open up. This means that some people with disabilities will continue to work remotely so virtual should always be an option and someone should be skilled in using it. But wherever possible, make sure that physical locations are fully accessible for everyone, too.

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