National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2020 with Twitter Able

By Justine De Caires and Andrew Hayward
Friday, 30 October 2020

This October, we celebrated National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). We used this as an opportunity to re-introduce Twitter Able with a new campaign that represents who we are, what we do, and our intersections: #DisabledAndAble. We want it known that people can be both disabled workers and able workers — that disabled employees are not less than, not there to simply accommodate. Disabled employees are equal employees who’s perspectives make Twitter, and the world, better for all. 

Twitter Able began a year ago, as a community of disabled and ally Tweeps working together to raise awareness, provide resources, and prioritize the needs of our community. We’re one of nine global Business Resource Groups (BRGs), working toward making Twitter a more inclusive and accessible company. Our work also includes healthy conversations with the people who use Twitter, as to further understand all that we can do to foster belonging. In a virtual world, there’s no better time to work together, and closer, even while we’re apart.

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As two engineers on Twitter Able we stayed busy this month with #DisabledAndAble global programming. We hosted a company-wide National Disability Employment Awareness Month kick-off event, where we shared Twitter’s journey to be a better employer and service to folks with disabilities.

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In Singapore, we hosted an event with SG Enable, an organization dedicated to enabling persons with disabilities and discussed mentoring and internship programs, and how Tweeps can get engaged.

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In Dublin, we hosted Mark Pollock, who shared his story of resiliency. He became the first blind person to race to the South Pole, and shared his story of strength after a fall which left him paralyzed.

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We also held an internal watch party for “Rising Phoenix” and invited a Paralympian for a fireside chat. 

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And finally, on October 27, we also hosted #BehindThePlatform, a virtual event that discussed how @Twitter is working on #accessibility to develop a platform for anyone, anywhere, to use on any device.

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Empowerment, belonging, and community are our three BRG pillars. It’s how we will foster an environment that welcomes, that’s receptive, and that makes future Tweeps feel at home. And although we’re one BRG, our shared experiences range across intersectional identities, job functions, and interests - throughout Twitter. In a world where there’s so much uncertainty, accountability is prime for our progress. With 200+ global members, our work, advocacy, and community is evergrowing - not because of our numbers but because of our proximity to the problems we’re solving. 

We aren’t perfect and we’ve got a lot of work to do to make Twitter a more inclusive and accessible company. Want to track our progress? Follow @TwitterAble and @TwitterA11y. Want to help us? Follow @TwitterCareers and #JoinTheFlock 👉  careers.twitter.com.

 

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@jdecked

Justine De Caires

‎@jdecked‎

Software Engineer II, Twitter Able Marketing & Communications Chair

@arhayward

Andrew Hayward

‎@arhayward‎

Sr. Software Engineer, Twitter Able Co-Chair