AT&T’s Accessible Products Attract Job Applicants With Disabilities
AT&T recognizes that diverse, talented, and dedicated people are critical to their success. They are a leader in providing an inclusive work environment, offering performance-based rewards, and creating cultures of excellence. Recruiting qualified and talented employees with disabilities is an essential component of AT&T’s diversity leadership. Recognizing that leadership from the top is critical for true inclusion, AT&T created the Chief Diversity Officer Forum in 2009. The Forum provides a venue to formally integrate, leverage, and grow enterprise-wide initiatives to become best-in-class from a diversity perspective. In addition to the Forum, AT&T also created the Expert Team on Access and Aging to build greater awareness and shared knowledge around disability and aging while creating an inclusive culture.
AT&T’s actions to recruit and include employees with disabilities are married to its commitment to develop and market products that are usable by customers with disabilities and customers who are aging. With an established reputation for providing accessible technology, job applicants with disabilities have made AT&T an employer of choice.
AT&T’s reputation in the disability community is solidly built on products developed through both tapping the expertise of their employees with disabilities and community engagement. For example, AT&T opened its doors to the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communications Technology (G3ict) that reviewed and documented its internal business processes. The study was conducted by interviewing AT&T personnel and third parties, analyzing the company’s product and service offerings, and examining internal documentation and processes. The results of this study show that the ability of a service provider such as AT&T to deliver effective solutions for persons with disabilities is highly dependent upon its culture of inclusion and commitment to innovation and Universal Design from the inception of product design to point of sales and customer service, as well as dedicated marketing, sales and services resources. The G3ict White Paper also shows that AT&T’s inclusion of persons with disabilities in its internal processes, both via its own employees living with disabilities and through its Advisory Panel on Access and Aging (AAPAA), has played a critical role in its ability to make its products and services accessible and to gather input for continuous improvements and new solutions. Released at the 26th Annual California State University, Northridge Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference (CSUN) in March 2011, the G3ict study shows how Universal Design is implemented across AT&T’s organization and business divisions and highlights the role of inclusive practices within the company.