5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: July 28

As the saying goes, the news never stops. In this weekly news roundup, we’ll cover the top news stories impacting American workplaces and communities.  

1. Former Congressman Jim Langevin Joins NOD Board of Directors

The National Organization on Disability (NOD) appointed former Congressman Jim Langevin as a new member of its Board of Directors. 

In a press release, NOD said Langevin’s advocacy for disability rights and his experience as the first quadriplegic to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives will further strengthen its mission of promoting inclusion and equal opportunities for people with disabilities in the workplace. 

“We are delighted to welcome Congressman Jim Langevin to the NOD Board of Directors,” said Luke Visconti, NOD Chairman and Founder and Chairman of Fair360. “His extensive legislative expertise, fierce advocacy for the American people and unwavering dedication to Americans with disabilities will be invaluable in driving forward NOD’s efforts to break down barriers and create a more inclusive society for all.”

2. AT&T Joins Forces With Indianapolis Urban League to Provide Free Internet Access and Education

AT&T (a Fair360 Hall of Fame company) opened its first AT&T Connected Learning Center in Indiana this month, partnering with the Indianapolis Urban League to provide free internet access and educational tools to bridge the digital divide. 

This marks the 25th center nationwide, aimed at supporting underserved communities with high-speed internet, computers and tutoring from AT&T employees. The initiative is part of AT&T’s commitment to address the digital divide. The company also aims to promote digital inclusion for vulnerable students and families. 

Additionally, Indianapolis Urban League President and CEO Tony Mason expressed his appreciation for the initiative’s positive impact on the community.

“We’re proud of this latest collaboration with our longtime supporter AT&T that’s bringing better connectivity to the men, women and children we serve,” he said. “These new computers and high-speed internet will no doubt boost our programs that are aimed at ensuring African-Americans and disadvantaged individuals are well-educated and prepared for economic self-sufficiency.”

3. SHRM Celebrates National Disability Independence Day

The Society for Human Resource Management celebrated National Disability Independence Day on July 26, which marked 33 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. 

As part of recognizing the holiday, SHRM shared research that revealed that 47% of workers with invisible disabilities have not disclosed this due to fear of scrutiny and discrimination in the workplace. 

According to the research, individuals with invisible disabilities who choose to disclose their condition at work are approximately two to three times more likely to encounter incivility. To illustrate, this includes rudeness, disrespect or insensitive behavior from their co-workers and supervisors.

Read more about the importance of self-ID campaigns. 

4. Massachusetts Launches Digital Accessibility Board

In more Disability Pride Month news, Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey signed Executive Order #614. This commemorated the month and the 33rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Moreover, this order establishes the Digital Accessibility and Equity Governance Board to enhance digital accessibility and equity within the state. Chief Information Technology Accessibility Officer (CIAO) is the chairman of the board.

The program will ensure digital applications are fully functional and accessible to all citizens. For example, metrics display publicly on a dashboard to track progress. The initiative aims to make government services more inclusive, responsive and accessible to people with disabilities, according to a press release from Healey and Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll.

5. New Study Reveals 4-Day Workweek Yields Equal Productivity in Fewer Hours

New research from nonprofit advocacy group 4 Day Week Global reveals that workers can be just as productive in a 33-hour week as in a 38-hour week. 

The report studied the long-term effects of a four-day workweek. According to the data, productivity remained high even as the workweek shortened. 

Additionally, workers in the trial reported reduced burnout (69%) and better work-life balance (74%).