Today, in recognition of people with disabilities – including more than 7,000 of our employees – AT&T celebrates the 31st anniversary of the American Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA is an important civil rights law which ensures that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. This day marks an important victory and serves as a reminder of the progress to be made in creating equity at our places of work and in our communities.
Even today, thirty-one years after it was signed into law, the landmark legislation continues to protect people with disabilities by prohibiting discrimination and expanding inclusion. The law continues to evolve and adapt; in 2008, amendments to the ADA were made to change the definition of the term “disability” by clarifying and broadening it, which, in turn, increased the number and types of persons protected under the ADA as well as other federal nondiscrimination laws.
At AT&T, we have a strong history of a creating a culture of inclusion and going beyond the minimum requirements of the ADA. Ability, our employee resource group (ERG) for employees with disabilities, family members of people with disabilities, and allies, has existed for more than thirty-two years. The 3,800+ ERG members advocate for employees with disabilities and work to hold our company accountable. Due to the relationship AT&T has with Ability and their work, AT&T was recognized as a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” by Disability Equality Index® for the seventh consecutive year.
For our customers, we have been focused on accessibility for decades. We offer products and services that are accessible and incorporate usable design, such as text-to-speech capabilities, audio descriptions and voice control features. We extend special rates on our wireless plans to customers with speech or hearing disabilities. Learn more about our efforts on our accessibility website.
Whether in support of our employees or with the technologies available through our resources, products and services, AT&T’s mission is to inspire human progress through the power of communication and entertainment. We know that true human progress only happens when there is progress for everyone, and we will continue to be deliberate in our pursuit of accessibility.