Why Sherri Turpin Is Asking The FCC To Make Telecommunications ‘Accessible And Inclusive For All’ | Forbes
Turpin is chief executive at ZVRS and Purple Communications, a telecom company founded in 1982 that specializes in video relay services (VRS) to those in the Deaf and hard-of-hearing communities.
A common thread that connects seemingly disparate stories featured in this column is how assistive technology exists as a means to combat structural ableism. Society is built for and by abled people, much in the same ways society favors men and white people; America was founded by a bunch of white men, after all. The needs of disabled people—especially in this technologically dominant age—is a prime example of diversity and inclusion. Accessibility is so important, not only to technology but to life in general, because making things accessible is precisely how we feel included. That our worldview is so undervalued, even amongst the most ardent supporters of diversity and inclusion, is a testament to said systemic ableism. A large part of what makes this neglect so frustrating is we want not only to be viewed as people—we want to show, particularly through technology, that differing perspectives lead to innovative, enriching solutions that have the potential to help anyone, regardless of ability.