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Driving inclusion through inclusive tech

Texthelp and Fortune 500 Lumen Company have teamed up to enhance Lumen’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion journey through the use of inclusive tech tools.

12th Dec ‘23 Today, global telecommunications company, Lumen, announced its partnership with Texthelp – one that will support their goal in continuing to foster a diverse and inclusive company culture. This announcement comes following Lumen’s achievement of 2023 Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion, as ranked by Disability:IN.

Lumen strives to empower their employees to bring their whole selves to work every day. Their active support of employees with disabilities has earned them numerous industry accolades. From Disability:IN to being featured on Forbes’ 2022 Best Employer for Diversity award. As well as ranking #12 in the Careers & the disABLED Top 50 Employer for Persons with Disabilities list worldwide.

As part of their commitment to an inclusive work environment, this January they will make Texthelp’s Read&Write for Work software available to all of their employees.

Read&Write is an inclusion tool currently helping to unlock the potential of over 50 million people worldwide. It’s trusted by organizations including KPMG and Ernst & Young. Its inclusive features give employees a choice in how they engage with content, complete tasks and communicate with colleagues.

A driving force behind introducing this inclusive technology to Lumen was their Employee Resource Group, FRIENDS. FRIENDS (Friends Respecting Inspiring Everyone Needing Disability Support) has a membership of over 700 Lumen employees. It aims to increase awareness of diverse disabilities, provide resources and offer support to those who need a friend.

Having shared that neurodivergent employees at Lumen requested better tools to support them, FRIENDS Global Chair took action. Deb Andersson, also Senior Analyst – Contracts and Compliance at Lumen, expressed;

“I was happy to research, and after reviewing multiple possibilities we found Texthelp’s Read&Write for Work. It offered the most complete solution for members,” Deb said. “It will provide the tools to allow employees to break down barriers and to showcase their best self at work. It will benefit not only our neurodiverse employees, but all Lumen employees and their families.”

Equally enthusiastic about their partnership with Texthelp, and its potential to be life-changer for many neurodivergent employees, is Bryan Horne. Bryan is Lumen’s Vice President Enterprise Digital Journeys and FRIENDS ERG executive sponsor;

“Lumen wins as our employees win,” says Bryan. “Providing software that eases the day-to-day experience while promoting a healthier, more productive workplace for those with neurodiverse conditions is a huge win for our employees and their families. This is what winning through inclusion, care, and compassion looks like. This is Lumen.”

Lumen will also extend their Read&Write offering to their employees’ family members for free. This is made possible through Texthelp’s Free for Family initiative. With Texthelp’s goal to advance the literacy and understanding of 1 billion people by 2030, this initiative was introduced last year to enhance inclusion and support the wider community. Being able to gift Read&Write to the people they value the most will have a valuable impact on the employees at Lumen.

Speaking on the partnership, Martin McKay, CEO and Founder of Texthelp shares;

“Lumen and Texthelp both understand that people do their best when they have the right tools and support. We’re excited to partner with Lumen as their inclusive technology provider, and believe that we can make a big difference together in supporting neurodiversity at their company.

As partners with Disability:IN, we’re also thrilled to see Lumen being recognized on their 2023 list of Best Places to Work. We’re excited about our partnership with Lumen, confident that this is just the beginning of a successful collaboration using technology to enhance disability inclusion.”

In October, Disability:IN ranked Lumen as a 2023 Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion on its Disability Equality Index. Disability:IN is a nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion that counts more than 500 global corporations in its network. The award was given in recognition of Lumen’s efforts in creating a workplace that emphasizes disability inclusion. It was presented at the recent 2023 Disability:IN Global Conference in Orlando. India Sylvester, Lumen Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, accepted the award at the conference. They were also part of a panel discussion called Follow the Leader: Equipping Managers for Effective Disability Inclusion.

“At Lumen, the grassroots efforts of FRIENDS and our employee resource groups are helping to create an inclusive work culture where everyone can be their authentic selves. Our ERGs play a critical role by supporting employee career development and engagement. And equally important, these groups help connect us with our increasingly diverse customer base,” Sylvester says. “This partnership speaks volumes to how Lumen embraces diversity and the skills all employees bring to their jobs. We are walking the walk by actively supporting our employees because we know this can unlock their potential.”

Sharing her thoughts, Jill Houghton, President & CEO of Disability:IN exclaims;
“Inclusive leadership drives sustainable growth and performance by including the estimated 1+ billion people around the world with a disability. We are proud to work with Lumen in building an inclusive economy for all.”

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