Telefónica’s road to including people with disabilities

On May 18th, we celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). The goal of this day is to raise awareness about the importance of web accessibility and promote digital inclusion for all individuals, especially those with disabilities.

Catherine Bohill

Catherine Bohill Follow

Reading time: 5 min

Inclusivity is embedded within our mission: “to make our world more human by connecting lives”. Diversity is also critical for our business.  Incorporating different viewpoints leads to greater empathy and creativity.  Being innovative makes our value proposition better. Catering for the whole market, leaving no one behind is central to our mission and to our economic success.

In this context, GAAD is a reminder of the importance of ensuring accessible digital environments for all. By promoting digital inclusion, we are working towards a more equitable society and providing equal opportunities for all people, regardless of their abilities or disabilities. We began this journey 50 years ago creating ATAM, an association that helps employees with disabilities and their families. 

At Telefónica we know we need to go further, so we are working in different areas – we highlight three:

  • Inclusive technology:

We use the potential of new technologies to improve the lives of people with disabilities and incorporate accessibility as a cross-cutting element for our products, services, facilities and channels. A good example is Movistar + Plus 5s television service, our TV with subtitles, audio description and sign language. 

We apply Responsibility by Design to the development of our products and services to make sure they are accessible. 

By 2025, 100% of our new products and services will be assessed under the Responsibility by Design framework

  • Zero barriers to talent:

People with disabilities need accessible job opportunities and we want to focus our efforts in attracting and developing the best talent, without labels. That is why we have the following ambitious goal:

Telefónica is committed to doubling the number of employees with disabilities over the next two years

  • Collaboration with sectoral and multisectoral level:

Agreements with external entities specialised in caring for people with disabilities helps us gain insight and improve our products and services in order to provide for this community in a more effective way.  For example, our collaboration with Fundación Goodjob and Fundación Randstad in Spain allows us to accelerate the identification of talent to join the Telefónica team. Globally, our work with The Valuable 500 and specifically the Generation Valuable initiative will help us to boost the careers of high-potential people with disabilities. We are working with our sector too, adhereing to the Principles for Driving the Digital Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities promoted by the GSMA.  We have a lot to learn in terms of diversity, equality and inclusion but we are on the road.

Telefónica is the first Spanish company to participate in the Generation Valuable initiative, a mentoring programme promoted by The Valuable 500.

The diversity leadership must come from the highest level, management commitment is essential. Angel Villa, our COO emphasises these points in the following video:


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