#PositivelyPurple – a global movement for change
Over the last few years we have participated in #PurpleLightUp, a global movement designed to draw attention to the economic empowerment of people with disabilities. Across business and government alike, it has become synonymous with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), held annually on December 3. First launched by the United Nations in 1992, it’s now a globally recognized date. The world is lighting up purple for one day only to celebrate and empower disabled people.
#PurpleLightUp started from a single tweet from PurpleSpace CEO Kate Nash OBE in 2017. The best way to get involved is by engaging on social media and using #PurpleLightUp on and around December 3. Since it began, #PurpleLightUp has been connecting disability Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and their Network leaders and sponsors around the world – building disability confidence from the inside out and driving a movement for change. To reflect the multiple ways in which organisations participate and the expanded purpose the team at PurpleSpace decided to rebrand the campaign as #PositivelyPurple.
Join the celebration
Here at Atos we are turning our website #PositivelyPurple for five days, from the morning of November 30 to the morning of December 5. We are holding a number of virtual events across our organization in multiple countries to celebrate and discuss diversity and inclusion.
December 1, 10:30 am -12:30 pm CET
On Friday, December 1, Atos will host its Innovation in Disability Inclusion event to celebrate the International Day of People with Disability (#IDPD), a United Nations-sanctioned annual day celebrating people with disabilities.
It seems like it was only the blink of an eye since we were last marking the International Day of People with Disabilities (#IDPD) and participating in Purple Light Up. Yes, here we are again at the beginning of December, making our websites around the world Purple for the day and running an event to celebrate.
Call for partners
Atos and GIZ work on an idea for a 3-year Accessibility Competence & Inclusive Employment Alliance Pilot in Egypt to train Accessibility Specialists and Personal Assistants (focusing on disability support skills), predominately targeting candidates with disabilities, enabling meaningful employment in Atos and Adopter partner companies. Interested to join? Fill out the contact form.
One day – one event to showcase what we advance on every day
On International Day of People with Disabilities (#IDPD), we’re showing Positively Purple, passionate and ingenious about making a sustainable and reliable difference in the workplace and lives of people with disabilities. We’re committed to doing so every day. We believe that accessibility and disability inclusion are constantly important, not just on International Day of People with Disabilities, but every day of the year, at every change we introduce, at every software update, at a universal collective, and at an individual level.
On Friday, December 1, Atos will host its 3rd edition of Innovation in Disability Inclusion event to celebrate the International Day of People with Disability (#IDPWD), a United Nations-sanctioned annual day celebrating people with disabilities. This year, we are running a virtual event, live streamed from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm CET, with presenters self-identifying as allies or as persons with disabilities from across the globe. We’ll feature on demonstrations of assistive technologies by persons with impairments, chronical disease or neurodiverse conditions.
Round tables, talks, and webinars will feature insights from both academic and expert viewpoints, along with perspectives from our employees with lived experience, our employee resource group and business leaders.
Why it matters
According to the World Health Organisation over 1.3 billion people worldwide have some form of disability; that’s 1 in 6. It can affect any of us at any time in our lives. In a growing global movement, over 160 countries have signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. But there’s still more to be done. True inclusion comes from a world that accepts all human differences, where people demand their voices to be heard. #PositivelyPurple, powered by PurpleSpace, rallies awareness in this global call to action.
What we do about it
With Atos’ Accessibility Team & the Businesses, we’ve been working hard to deliver impactful change projects across diverse departments, focusing on accessibility training, assistive technologies, and procurement processes. We’re proud to say that our work has been recognized globally and we’re excited to see where it will take us next.
What partners do
And it’s not just us – Accessibility and Disability Inclusion are bringing our company together, with everyone from the C-suite to employees with disabilities supporting our mission and getting involved with our collaborative initiatives with key public, social and business partners. This year, we’ve made great strides, from improving hybrid work design to partnering with Zero Project, GIZ and Microsoft. Mainstream technology – including conversational and generative AI- continues to add more and more assistive features to improve regular work efficiency and well-being, and much thought has gone into improving the accessibility of hybrid work by design. We are eager to work with our partners like Microsoft to improve the accessibility of the O365 workplace continually.
What is yet to come
There’s still a lot of work for our partners and clients, especially looking at the European Accessibility Act and we’re committed to making progress. Atos has renewed its commitment to Disability Inclusion with the Valuable 500 in May 2023 and, amongst others, committed to 5 KPIs proposed in the White Paper. Data on disability are hard to find and statistics on disabled workforce representation, and the employee experience of people with disabilities are even harder to obtain. We want to contribute to enable better data on Workforce Representation of employees identifying as disabled/living with a disability. Together with diverse partners, we are happy to co-innovate programs and solutions, bringing in our industry experiences to help catalyze progress for the entire community. Ready to join us? You can find a form to state interest on the Event Landing Page.
We have a prioritized multi-year plan and a team of over 30 full-time equivalents working on accessibility projects, along with hundreds of ambassadors and contributors across all areas of our business requiring & enabling a business process manager and PMO role to support the governance team around our Head of Accessibility Neil Milliken and me. We’re also supporting our businesses to increase hiring and retention of employees with disabilities in various locations worldwide and we’re always looking for new ways to improve accessibility and inclusivity.
My personal highlights
Program Manager Accessibility & Digital Inclusion Governance
As an Accessibility Program Manager at Atos, I’ve had a rewarding year. I completed the Fuel for Emerging Leader Training, connecting with many other young leaders and executive sponsors who are enthusiastic about advancing Atosian Accessibility.
It was a tremendous pleasure, to draft the agenda, co-host and moderate a session at the Innovation in Disability Inclusion Event. Alongside our Tech Foundations CEO Nourdine Bihmane, Diversity Equity and Inclusion Lead Larisa Vancea, and Head of Accessibility Neil Milliken, where we shared on corporate values, policy, program, and future. We celebrated the expansion of the Accessibility Program and the new process and training of our global procurement team to assess vendors’ accessibility maturity.
Our team won several awards from the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) in 2023, and I was honoured to receive the Employee Impact Award. You can learn more about this and my manager’s and colleagues’ awards on the IAAP Awards webpage.
As a person on the autistic spectrum, I believe in disability inclusion and the principle of “Nothing about us, without us”. I am grateful for the support of my management and disability services, and I value the independent Employee Resource Groups and Employee Representatives at Atos who support colleagues with disabilities. In my role, advancing accessibility in internal processes and services, we need to understand the needs of the target group. For this, we face a significant lack of data on representation of employees identifying as disabled or living with a disability and their needs. This lack of data can lead to assumptions that are not aligned with expectations. We need to be kind to our colleagues, clients, and partners, acknowledging that anyone can be part of the disability community at any time in their life. Invisible disabilities often go unnoticed, but they affect many people. I encourage openness about disability to create a more inclusive work environment. I am particularly excited about the diverse new opportunities for accessibility innovation in the years to come, based on making this community engaged and heard through new non-intrusive and dedicated disability and accessibility need self-ID processes, including a pilot program of reverse mentoring between people with and without lived experience, based on the Generation Valuable reverse mentoring experience, as well as more diverse testing panels including employees with disabilities.
Let’s celebrate our progress and look forward to more co-innovation for accessibility and inclusion. Join us on our mission to create a more accessible and inclusive world – as internal or external partner, champion or even my direct team as a VIE in a PMO role.
I joined this Accessibility team four years ago after discovering the Purple Light Up landing page while writing a post for social media on my work for researchers with disabilities. It was the best career choice ever. Doors can open if you dare to knock on them.
Accessibility statement: This page is partly accessible at launch, with some known issues. Our web and accessibility teams are diligently working to address these issues at the earliest opportunity. If you experience any difficulties or require alternative content, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us via the provided form. Your patience and understanding are greatly appreciated.