In 2004, everything changed for me. I had recently lost complete vision in my left eye, and as a result of the vision loss, I was unable to perform the essential functions of being an order writer. I was working in the National Back Office in Oakland, which supports the frontline representatives with processing orders, handling order error corrections, and managing correspondence from all five regions (Midwest, Southeast, Southwest, U-verse and West). Not only was I dealing with the vision loss itself, but I was also afraid of losing my job.
I worked with my management team, my Union counterpart and the appropriate contacts and departments within AT&T, and was given the reasonable accommodations that I needed to keep doing my job.
AT&T provided technologies to assist me while I work, and trained me in how to use them, including:
- AttachMate Extra 3270 Terminal Emulation V7.x Enterprise Edition
- JAWS for Windows Professional Edition screen reading software V7.x
- MAGIC screen magnification software V9.x
- Topaz video magnifier (also known as a Closed Circuit Television)
This equipment provides me with an enlarged view of hard copy correspondence documents, which makes completing my responsibilities possible.
I can’t begin to tell you the positive impact that this technology has had on me, from both a professional and personal perspective. When I first lost my vision, I thought that was it. I felt like my dreams were gone and that I could no longer contribute to the workforce. Due to the assistive technology AT&T provided me, not only was I able to maintain my job, but it has given me the confidence to explore other career opportunities as I continue my employment with AT&T.
Ultimately, AT&T has given me tools that support my personal growth and development. But they’ve also enabled me to build my 34-year career portfolio around my passion in disability advocacy.