Accessibility Leads to Innovation

January 20th, 2013 by Kel Smith | Filed under About the Book, Attitudes of Disability, Innovation, Uncategorized

There’s a reason why I devoted an entire chapter of the book to defining innovation. Developing new products and services with inclusion in mind results in better products for everyone. It’s actually a pretty simple concept that doesn’t get enough play in today’s corporate objectives.

That appears to be changing. The Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT) noted that AT&T’s appointment of a Chief Accessibility Officer reinforces the link between innovation and accessibility. A December 2012 press release announced AT&T’s Corporate Accessibility Technology Office with the following statement:

“Accessibility at AT&T is about more than just meeting the needs of our customers with disabilities, it is also about continuing to innovate and staying competitive,” says Christopher Rice, AT&T Chief Accessibility Officer. “Our work on accessibility has led to innovative products and services that improve the lives of all of our customers and I am honored to be leading the charge to continue these efforts.”

“AT&T demonstrates its commitment to accessibility by working closely with the disability community to identify areas for improvement,” says Claude Stout, Executive Director of Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. Stout further adds, “With its open-door policy, this new office will help ensure that AT&T’s efforts continue to be a model for the industry, and we encourage other Fortune 500 companies to follow AT&T’s example.”

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