Innovative communication technology designed to address the needs of aging adults and persons with disabilities can also benefit consumers without physical, cognitive and other limitations, AT&T* will report at the 26th Annual International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference, March 14-19, in San Diego, hosted by the Center on Disabilities at California State University, Northridge (CSUN).
At the conference, AT&T will highlight several emerging technologies, ranging from “smart shoes” communications that monitor for compromises in a patient’s balance, to devices with touchscreens that can be used without the benefit of sight. AT&T will also introduce a new accessible web video highlighting the array of products and services it makes available to the disability and aging adult communities. The video is available at www.att.com/accessibility.
“We design our products and services to help make people’s lives easier,” said Carlton Hill, vice president, Consumer Devices, AT&T Mobility. “Whether or not they have a disability, AT&T customers know that they can communicate with others in a way that meets their needs. This is at the heart of AT&T’s commitment to empowering our communities through innovative solutions.”
The annual CSUN conference comes on the heels of an extensive study on AT&T’s commitment to the disability and aging communities. The Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs (G3ict), a flagship advocacy initiative of the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development, recently selected AT&T and issued the report highlighting AT&T’s efforts to integrate Universal Design (designing products and services for the greatest number of users) and accessibility in product development, customer services and other critical business areas. The study, “Accessibility, Innovation and Sustainability at AT&T,” documents the company’s efforts to create a more inclusive workplace, particularly one that promotes innovation, sustainability, and independence for customers living with disabilities. The G3ict study describes how AT&T has effectively integrated the principles of Universal Design and accessibility into its business, specifically around product development, human resources, talent attraction, recruitment, marketing and customer service. Furthermore, the case study highlighted AT&T’s approach to accessibility as an important element to the company’s citizenship and sustainability strategy.
Also this week, AT&T convenes its AT&T Advisory Panel on Access & Aging (AAPAA). Consisting of prominent national leaders of organizations focused on aging diverse consumers and people with disabilities, AAPAA meets three times annually with AT&T business leaders to provide advice on issues related to products and services; strategic marketing and advertising; customer relations; and the employment of individuals with disabilities.
AT&T works with vendors and developers to create a dynamic portfolio of accessible and usable products and services that increase productivity, entertainment and independence of customers with and without disabilities. AT&T also offers customized rate plans and services tailored to meet the needs of customers who are aging and/or have disabilities; such as the Text Accessibility Plan (TAP) which is a data only rate plan for devices. In total, AT&T offers 32 handsets certified as meeting Federal Communications Commission hearing aid compatibility (HAC) standards, as well as more than 45 Text Telephone (TTY) compatible handsets.