In the United States alone, more than 20 million adults live with vision loss. This vision impairment can make it difficult for many to find and maintain full-time jobs. However, novel applications of existing technology are making it possible for the visually impaired to uncover new employment opportunities in industries that were previously unavailable to them.
One such industry was the call center. Driven by computer-based workflows and telephone use, day-to-day operations required sight-enabled workers. But the emergence of technology such as TCN’s Platform 3 VocalVision has dramatically changed that.
Platform 3 VocalVision is a virtual call center technology specifically designed for the visually impaired, providing them the opportunity to work as call center agents. It combines the industry-leading contact center features of TCN’s Platform 3 with technology that allows the visually impaired to “see” what’s on their computer screen. This combination has created jobs for people who otherwise would not be able to work in this industry where CRMs, computers, and other client information is needed so readily.
By connecting our cloud-based call center software with a screen reader called JAWS (Job Access with Speech), our clients are able to employ visually impaired team members who can be up and running in a customer support role in just a matter of hours.
JAWS assists computer users whose vision impairment prevents them from seeing screen content or being able to operate a mouse. The software enables them to navigate workflows via hot keys that leverage JAWS functionality during both incoming and outgoing calls, while audible tones signal the connection of an incoming call.
Beyond Vision, a Milwaukee-based not-for-profit company with a goal of providing employment opportunities to people who are legally blind, currently uses Platform 3 Vocal Vision.
“We’ve been impressed with TCN’s VocalVision cloud-based phone service. They have been very willing to customize the solution to meet our employee’s accessibility needs. So, our employees like the system and its ease of use. It has enhanced the level of service we can offer our customers through its call recording and time reporting capabilities,” said Jim Kerlin, president and CEO of Beyond Vision. “In the future, we plan to use the system to measure and report productivity and utilization metrics, just as we do in our manufacturing environment.”
The unique combination of a cloud-based call center software with an advanced screen reader has opened up numerous employment possibilities for the visually impaired. Further technical innovation across the industry will hopefully uncover new developments that can help millions more discover new opportunities.