Today we celebrate the 29th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, more commonly known as the ADA. This law was created to ensure that people with disabilities are not discriminated against in any aspect of public life including employment, education, transportation, or housing. As we reflect upon the enactment of this life-changing legislation, we are reminded of the importance of the work we do at APH while recognizing that much still needs to be done.
Education and Employment
For more than 160 years, APH has manufactured products and materials that assist in the education of students who are blind and visually impaired and prepare them for eventual employment. APH is a living testament to our belief in equality. People with disabilities work throughout the company, including marketing, customer service, and product and software development. We emphasize to all employees the importance of creating an inclusive work environment.
The Accessibility Hub
Our Accessibility Committee has developed the Accessibility Hub, which can be found at http://www.aphaccessibility.com. The hub contains a variety of valuable items: our newly developed accessibility and inclusion training; guidelines for providing accessible documents at meetings; checklists for creating accessible emails, PDF files, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and Powerpoint files; and a few fun videos depicting the importance of accessibility in the workplace.
The Work Continues
We are making positive strides; however, much work remains to be done. The unemployment rate of people who are blind remains too high, and severely negative attitudes toward blindness continue to exist. APH is focused more now than ever on developing products and services that further the education and employment prospects for people who are blind and visually impaired.