January 19, 2020
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Communication Service for the Deaf's Connect Direct and Google Launch 'ASL Now' Accessibility Solution for the Deaf Community

Communication Service for the Deaf's Connect Direct and Google Launch 'ASL Now' Accessibility Solution for the Deaf Community

Connect Direct, a subsidiary of Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD), announced today a new partnership with Google Accessibility that provides the deaf and hard of hearing community with direct Google customer support in American Sign Language (ASL). For the first time, deaf consumers can communicate directly in real time with the Google Disability Support team in ASL for questions related to Google accessibility features and functionalities within Google's products.

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Dec. 9, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Connect Direct, a subsidiary of Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD), announced today a new partnership with Google Accessibility that provides the deaf and hard of hearing community with direct Google customer support in American Sign Language (ASL). For the first time, deaf consumers can communicate directly in real time with the Google Disability Support team in ASL for questions related to Google accessibility features and functionalities within Google's products.

CSD is the world's largest deaf-led social impact organization and for more than 40 years has pioneered leading communications solutions for a more accessible and inclusive world. Connect Direct, Engineered by CSD, is the leading provider of comprehensive ASL customer contact center solutions, providing organizations with one-to-one customer service directly in ASL.

"We are very pleased to be working with Google Accessibility for a more inclusive world," said Christopher Soukup, CEO of CSD. "Few things are more fundamental to our sense of fulfillment and purpose in life than the ability to connect freely and directly with others in your own preferred language. I commend Google for its leadership in removing barriers to a full communication experience for deaf and hard of hearing people and have no doubt that many other businesses will soon want to follow their example."

With the Google Disability service powered by Connect Direct, deaf and hard of hearing consumers who are ASL users can contact the Google Disability Support team by clicking on an "ASL Now" button for any questions related to Google accessibility features and functionalities within Google's products. The service provides an immediate connection to Google support representatives who are deaf and fluent in ASL through a videophone number and web-based real time communication (RTC).

"We're thrilled to have partnered with Connect Direct and TELUS international to offer American Sign Language support for the deaf community on Google's products," said Kyndra LoCoco, Partner and Community Programs Manager, Google Accessibility. "This is just one more step towards our mission to provide the most accessible support possible and we implore others to join us in this journey."

"Leveraging next-gen digital solutions, advanced contact center technology and inspired agents, TELUS International, alongside Connect Direct and Communication Service for the Deaf, is pleased to provide leading customer experiences to support Google's mission to deliver accessible products and apps for all users to enjoy," said Ali Wilson, Senior Global Manager, Analyst Relations and PR, TELUS International.

"Providing direct customer service in our native language for the deaf community is something we are working every day to make possible and Google shares the same values as we do when it comes to equal communication access for everyone," said Craig J. Radford, Director of Strategy and Business Development for Connect Direct. "This is just the beginning. There is no question that we will see the expansion of these services, giving the deaf community equal access to communication in our native language, helping improve customer service and creating employment opportunities for deaf people. All of this aligns perfectly with what we do at CSD and Connect Direct."

About Connect Direct & CSD

Connect Direct, a division of CSD, is leading business and technology solutions for contact center programs, specifically geared for deaf and hard of hearing consumers, while creating employment opportunities for the deaf community. Connect Direct benefits include: custom technology solutions developed by and for the deaf community; overall improved customer service and efficiencies for existing and potential deaf and hard of hearing customers; the elimination of third-party services creating increased and more accurate brand representation; the recruitment, hiring and training of deaf talent to provide direct ASL service; and increased productivity with the decrease of call times by as much as 42 percent.

Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) is the largest deaf-led social impact organization in the world. For more than four decades, CSD has been a leader in creating and providing accessible technology solutions for the deaf community. Today, CSD continues its work to create opportunities for personal and economic growth within the deaf community, specifically addressing leadership and employment. CSD's Social Venture Fund is one of the first angel funds and incubators in the world supporting deaf entrepreneurs and deaf-owned and operated businesses. For more information about CSD and Connect Direct please visit http://www.csd.org and http://www.csd.org/impact/direct.

About Google Disability

The Google Disability Support team is composed of inclusion advocates who are eager to work with the community and Googlers to improve and shape Google's products with user feedback. Visit the Google Accessibility Help Center to learn more about Google Accessibility and head to Google Accessibility support to connect with an ASL specialist today.

Media Contacts:

The Durkin Agency

Alana Cowan

alanacowan5@gmail.com

mobile: 973-809-4858

Karen Durkin

karen.durkin@thedurkinagency.com

mobile: 386-451-4850

 

SOURCE Connect Direct



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