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05.21.2020Inside Verizon

How access to tech remains the great equalizer.

By: Andy Choi
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Making Global Accessibility Awareness Day matter to all.

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Eric LeGrand, author and motivational speaker, is a man with a message: “Think about the people in the disabled world and how much of a game changer you can be in their life by utilizing all the technology that you have.”

It’s been nearly ten years since the Rutgers football star sustained a spinal injury on the playing field, fracturing his C-3 and C-4 vertebrae. Over the years, Verizon has helped Eric with the tools he needs to share his story of belief and perseverance.

Verizon gave Eric a stylus pen that he can hold in his mouth to type on his phone and installed a special network in his home that allows him to open doors, turn on lights and adjust room temperature remotely.

“Being able to go on my cell phone, it gives me that feeling of independence, where I can do it myself.” said Eric.

These days, that message remains exclusively digital, but Eric hopes his message of inclusion resonates with companies like Verizon, now more than ever.

“Just imagine that gratifying feeling of knowing that you’re a part of a company that doesn’t just help the able-bodied person, but it’s helping people of all kinds and all walks of life,” said Eric. “It’s truly an amazing feeling.”

In honor of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Verizon Media is showing how thoughtful tech design can make an enormous impact on countless lives. We’re also getting a virtual look inside the Verizon Media Accessibility Lab, where employees and visitors learn how to build products accessible for people with& disabilities.

“We wanted to have a safe and approachable space where employees can come and learn and ask questions about accessibility,” said Margaux Joffe, Director of Accessibility Marketing at Verizon Media.

The learning continues with a virtual Accessibility Expo open to all V Teamers this afternoon from 1 to 3 PM ET.

Our thanks to Eric LeGrand and everyone on our team working to make accessibility something we can all believe in. You can learn more about Eric’s work at teamlegrand.org.

We’ll leave you with a final thought from Eric: “When you start to educate yourself on other disabilities, it opens the door to millions and millions of other people.”

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