Purple Light Up 2019


Posted on: December 3, 2019 by Neil Milliken

It is often said that human perception of time varies according to circumstances. It is certainly the case for me with Dyslexia and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) as it only seems like the blink of an eye since 2018 when we were working to make our website purple for International Day of Persons with Disabilities as part of the #PurpleLightUp campaign.

And yet when I look back at what has happened in 2019 it has been a very full year for accessibility and disability inclusion.

I’d like to share here my highlights from 2019:

Global Accessibility Policy

In March, we created a groupwide accessibility policy. This policy is both internal and external facing we are looking to improve the experiences of our customers and employees with disabilities through accessible technology.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD)

Last May, we held several events in a number of our business technology innovation centres and hosted webinars and virtual events around the globe. You can still access my blog here.

2nd Global Disability Summit

Argentina hosted the second global disability Summit in June which was a celebration of disability inclusion, a combination of policy talks information sharing and public exhibitions. I had the privilege to attend and speak about the work we are doing to promote accessibility.

Atos signed up to the Valuable 500 committing us to putting disability on our board agenda. The valuable 500 was launched at Davos in January 2019 with the intention of engaging senior business leaders to help forward the cause of disability inclusion.

2019 has been a year where we have worked on professionalisation in accessibility contributing to creating standards and certifications with the International Association of accessibility professionals and also in the UK with the Institute for apprenticeships. I firmly believe that education has a significant role to play in inclusion.

This year has also seen exciting new releases of assistive technologies from the major tech firms such as Apple, Microsoft and Google more and more enabling features are being built in to our day-to-day tools and this is great to see.

Finally in November many of these organizations and scenes came together under the umbrella of the United Nations International Labour organization which hosted a conference in Geneva focused on disability inclusion in the future of work which we were delighted to participate in.

I am already looking forward to all the exciting things that I know are going to happen in 2020 but let’s celebrate today the amazing talent that we have amongst our population of disabled staff, customers, friends and family.

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About Neil Milliken
Head of Accessibility & Digital Inclusion and member of the Scientific Community
Neil Milliken is VP - Global Head of Accessibility & Digital Inclusionat Atos, member of the Atos Scientific Community & Atos Distinguished Expert. Neil is a leading strategist and community builder with over two decades of experience within the Accessibility and Assistive Technology fields and served as invited expert for the W3C Cognitive Accessibility Taskforce Neil is a member of the Board of Directors for World Institute on Disability, Non Exec Chair of the Board at Genius Within, member of the advisory board of the Valuable500 & Served as Chair of the Diversity Board for Institute of Coding. He is co-founder of AXSChat Europe’s largest twitter chat with a focus on Accessibility & Inclusion. Neil is dyslexic and has ADHD, he advocates for people with neurodivergent conditions as well as other disabilities and additional needs.

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