Marketplace Innovation Through Disability Inclusion

Marketplace Innovation Through Disability Inclusion

By: Aaron Bangor

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Friday, October 9, 2015 - 1:05pm



The United States Business Leadership Network (USBLN) has paved the way to help businesses build their disability inclusion efforts in the workplace, supply chain, and marketplace.  Over the years, we have worked with them to improve and highlight our own efforts.  Last week, we were happy to join them for their Annual National Conference in Austin.  This year’s conference was especially memorable for us as we were honored to receive USBLN’s Marketplace Innovator of the Year Award for our work on Real-Time Text (RTT).

RTT is an Internet Protocol-based alternative to legacy TTY devices that allows individuals with hearing or speech impairments to communicate via text on a phone call. It incorporates the benefits of legacy TTY technology, such as the instant transmission of characters (instead of having to hit “send” like you do with an SMS text message) and the ability to communicate directly with emergency services. It also has the added benefits of a modern IP-based system, like the ability to directly communicate from smartphones and tablets, instead of needing a separate piece of equipment.

Not only is RTT a valuable tool for people with speech or hearing impairments who currently use relay services or TTYs, but it expands accessibility for new and innovative voice services, like voice over Wi-Fi. To find out more about RTT, check out our blog from May: Modernizing Real-Time Communications Technology for All Customers.

High-speed broadband and mobile connections are delivering new communications choices to consumers. For people with disabilities, this can mean improved accessibility and direct communication with individuals without disabilities. To make that a reality, AT&T uses an inclusive design process that brings together diverse perspectives and leads to innovative and accessible products and services that meet a variety of disability and age-related needs.

The USBLN is a leader in working with companies to grow their commitments to disability inclusion and AT&T has been proud to work with USBLN on that mission. RTT is another example of how we, at AT&T, are working to deliver technology that improves accessibility and makes the workplace more inclusive. We are proud of this solution and thank the USBLN for the Marketplace Innovator of the Year Award.