Comcast works hard to support our employees with disabilities while championing a safe and welcoming disability-sensitive work environment for everyone at the company.
October is National Disability Employment Awareness month, a chance to highlight our commitment in this area, as well as our partnership with the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and Blind (ASDB).
ASDB provides education and support services to 2,000 Arizona children from birth to age 22 who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, hard-of-hearing, multisensory disabled or deaf-blind. Comcast is proud to support ASDB with in-kind and financial contributions that help ensure ASDB students have access to enriching experiences in and out of the classroom.
Comcast helped support a group of deaf ASDB high school students to attend a recent production of Les Misérables in Tucson that included an American Sign Language interpreter.
Kelly Creasy, principal of the ASDB Tucson campus, also hopes that Comcast employees can help her students see that simply because they have a hearing or visual impairment, they can still have productive and successful careers.
“When adults with disabilities come to the school and share their journey, answer our students’ questions, and describe what they had to overcome and how they learned to advocate for themselves, that is powerful,” says Principal Creasy. “Our students get overwhelmed thinking about the future and having those role models allows them to see all the opportunities out there for them.”
Technology like screen-reading software, a refreshable Braille display powered by Bluetooth, or speaker systems that amplify sound through a hearing aid, are opening up the professional world even wider to people with visual and hearing impairments.
Each year, high school students at ASDB in Tucson seek unpaid internships in the community in order to provide them on-the-job experience. Creasy sees this as important preparation for her students – but also a learning opportunity for employers.
“We are doing our best on our end to make sure our students are ready for the workforce,” says Principal Creasy. “But it’s also about getting the community to understand that they can be successful, it won’t be difficult to accommodate them, and it won’t break the bank.”
ASDB focuses on job skills and ensuring that ASDB students are prepared for the workforce as people who are deaf or blind have higher rates of unemployment than the population overall. In Arizona, there are 432,087 adults with disabilities between the ages of 18 and 64. Of these, 150,434 are employed, or 34.8 percent.
Learn more about the MyAbilities network at Comcast, which empowers People with Disabilities and their allies across the company via increased exposure, leadership, mentoring and development opportunities.