American Association of People With Disabilities Honors Verizon for Design and Accessibility of Company’s Products and Services

The American Association of People with Disabilities has awarded Verizon a 2011 Justice for All Award, citing the company's ongoing commitment to provide accessible products and services and its leadership role in supporting passage last year of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act. 

The award was announced Tuesday (July 26), the 21st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Tom Tauke, Verizon's executive vice president, public affairs, policy and communications, accepted the award on behalf of the company.

"Verizon has a strong commitment to providing the best customer experience, while recognizing that we have to do our part to ensure all of our customers have the tools and resources available that allow easy and efficient communication," Tauke said.  "We take our adoption of Universal Design Principles very seriously and work constantly to provide leading-edge products and services."

Verizon currently offers numerous universally designed, accessible devices and resources including the company's videophone service, the Verizon Center for Customers with Disabilities, accessible handsets and tailored calling plans.

Tauke also announced the launch of the AAPD Higher Education Project, a first-of-its-kind program funded with a multiyear grant from the Verizon Foundation. The online project creates a powerful network that enables students with disabilities to connect, share resources and address challenges that all students encounter at various levels of higher learning.

The AAPD will work to foster peer networks and create access to a bank of resources targeted at removing barriers and enhancing educational experiences for students with disabilities.  The goal of the project is to develop pipelines of talented graduates with disabilities to aid in the organization's ongoing efforts to support employment outcomes for the community.

"Our company is determined to continue offering life-enhancing products and services that can truly make a difference," Tauke said. "Going forward, we believe that broadband is the digital conduit that will give everyone the tools to adeptly use technology to address the most pressing issues of our times."

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with more than 106 million total connections nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 196,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.