They say the third world countries have been a lot more slower in recognising individuals with learning difficulties, especially Deafness. Today we have seen differently in a less developed country like India.
Amazon is a large worldwide company that offers delivery services for endless items. Very recently Amazon has introduced a ‘Silent Delivery station’ which is going to be entirely managed by Deaf associates in order to create more job opportunities for the Deaf. The station has trained the Deaf associates to deliver packages by bus or on foot in a radius of 2-3km. They have also been given proper sign language training for this!
The one thing that stood out and really attracted me to this news is what Akhil Saxena, vice president of Amazon India had to say, ‘Our vision is to create opportunities for individuals to realise their potential and transform their lives…’
Saxena believes that they can effectively use their resources and infrastructure of new ideas and technology to enable widespread diversity within the Deaf community and hep them succeed to their highest potential.
The whole idea of launching this station was so that the employment industry in a place like India can see how Deaf people deserve the same opportunities as the Hearing and are presented with the same advantages that will help them improve their livelihood.
It made us very happy as a company trying to give the same opportunities to Deaf people in the UK to see that other countries, especially ones like India, where this problem is seen as a very taboo subject in most areas even today, are giving the Deaf the chance they deserve in employment and the chance to make their lives better by working and earning money through their own hard work and not having to rely fully on benefits.
This is definitely something that Amazon should think to expand in to the UK and different parts of the world so that Deaf people can easily work in different areas of the company which can enhance their potential and boost their self confidence.
We urge Amazon to work on this as soon as possible and at the same time congratulate them on the innovative idea and implementation of this amazing silent delivery station that they have set up! Well done Amazon!
I had the pleasure of interviewing Davidi, the Accessibility Operations Manager at Uber, and discussed his experiences working with Lingoing and visiting the monthly held d/Deaf forums for Uber partners that we helped process to gain their full license.
1. What do you do for work?
I work in the ‘Uber for Everyone’ team – which focuses on two main areas: We look after 1) Electric vehicles and 2) Accessibility, including products such as uberACCESS and uberASSIST. This is also where our partnership with Lingoing fits, working together to achieve our joint aim to make the platform available for anyone wanting to join Uber as a partner-driver. Lingoing is key to this, making the process easier for d/Deaf individuals to get licensed and join the platform.
2. Have these experiences made you more deaf aware?
Absolutely! Speaking with Liz has given me an insight into the difficulties that drivers may face when processes are not created with deaf people in mind – small things you wouldn’t necessarily have thought about. It was also interesting to see sign communication with a large group in action, and to see the differences between BSL and ASL. Overall, the Deaf forum was extremely interesting.
3. How did you get in contact with Lingoing?
I joined the team after contact had already been made with Lingoing … My main contact has been with Liz, who has been invaluable in introducing me to this space – through Lingoing Liz and Fateha have been extremely effective at creating a clear and navigable path for the d/Deaf partner licensing and on-boarding processes and highlighting potential improvements for the app in general.
4. What experiences have you gained from the deaf forum?
Some issues came up in the forum – issues that highlight the specific challenges facing d/Deaf partner-drivers and which perhaps the Uber team hadn’t focussed on previously. For example, what happens if a deaf partner-driver picks up a blind rider? What if the rider wants to make a stop? There were also a lot of more general questions about employment, joining a new platform and the practical steps required. I also had a few questions of my own! Overall it was a great opportunity for deaf partners to get together and share their experiences with us but, more importantly, each other.
5. Did you like the feedback?
Fantastic! It was an enlightening experience for our team and hope we were able to contribute too.
Working with Uber has been an amazing experience for Lingoing as further barriers have been broken down due to the onset of allowing Deaf drivers onto the road and we hope our work with Uber continues to be a great success with establishing more job prospects for deaf people! Uber should be commended for their efforts in making this possible.