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Supporting Accessibility in the Workplace with Unified Communications

Workplace accessibility has come a long way over the years, educating employers on how they can better support their staff, contributing to better employee retention and their overall happiness.  However, as technology has evolved over time, accessibility barriers have extended far beyond the physical sense to encompass digital and technological use.

We’re taking a look at some of the ways that unified communications can be deployed to form diverse and inclusive workplaces.

Communication Solutions to Meet all Needs

Modern Unified Communications (UC) technology recognizes the variation of accessibility issues which may prevent users from communicating effectively. For example, Cisco Webex calling technology provides accessibility features for individuals with hearing or visually impairments, as well as users with mobility issues. Plus, its full suite of conferencing solutions integrates seamlessly with one another, which means your teams have greater flexibility in attending meetings and conferences regardless of physical location – supporting colleagues who may use alternative devices to manage their work, as a result of mobility issues.

Also supporting users with visual impairments, Microsoft Teams is compatible with JAWS and NVDA screen readers, allowing users to join and schedule meetings, make and answer calls, manage files and chat within Teams. Additionally, live captions allow individuals with hearing difficulties the same standards of access to meetings. The Microsoft app, Seeing AI, is also useful for helping colleagues in recognizing facial expressions, images, physical movements and reading messages or documents.

Artificial Intelligence for Greater Collaboration

For too long, these features have had to be “enabled” and learned by the user, rather than simply integrated and ready to go. However, as Artificial Intelligence (AI) becomes more mainstream in the communication industry, we’re already starting to see these functionalities embedded within the collaboration environment. Take Microsoft’s AI for Accessibility grant, encouraging developers to create products with AI tools that are accessible to those with disabilities.

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It’s a two-pronged advantage as many of these features, such as language processing and transcription services, will not only have a significant effect on individuals with accessibility needs, but make workplaces smarter and more collaborative by default. Individuals can manage their work seamlessly and colleagues with disabilities will be better empowered to carry out their work, all while minimizing disruptions on productivity and motivation.

Minimizing Business Interruption

UC utilizes diverse solutions to create better real-time collaboration experiences for teams, clients and other stakeholders. By adopting UC to meet all user needs, you’ll allow your organization to continue more productively and satisfied with no disruption to everyday business.

Our end-to-end approach to UC means that we’re with you every step of the way, from consulting and planning stages right through to delivery, roll-out and adoption. We can help you understand your position on the digital transformation journey to put a plan in place for successful change management.

Contact us today if you’d like to discuss your technological requirements.

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