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Avaya Helps UK Businesses Meet New Demands of Disability Discrimination Act

09-28-2004
  • Avaya solutions provide access to Converged Business Communications for people with sensory impairments

On 1 October 2004, further rights of access contained in the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995 come into effect and Avaya Inc. (NYSE:AV), a leading global provider of business communications software, systems and services, urges UK businesses to act now to ensure they don't discriminate against employees or job applicants with disabilities.

On 1st October 2004, further rights of access contained in the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995 come into effect and Avaya Inc. (NYSE:AV), a leading global provider of business communications software, systems and services, urges UK businesses to act now to ensure they don't discriminate against employees or job applicants with disabilities.

For the first time, the DDA will not only apply to businesses that provide goods and services to the public, but also those with fewer than 15 staff. Specifically, businesses will need to make changes to allow improved access to facilities, accommodate flexible working hours and provide information in an accessible format. To help meet this new legislation, Avaya is offering UK businesses, communication systems that enable people with sensory impairments to access advanced business communications over converged, Internet Protocol (IP) networks.

To support people who are visually-impaired, Avaya uses speech technology to provide the information obtained visually from a typical business telephone: caller ID; new voicemail arrival; lines being used or on hold; whether a party on hold has disconnected. Also, the software includes support for specialised telephone-centric jobs, such as a call centre agent, for which a person with disabilities might be an ideal employee.

Designed for use with Avaya Communication Manager and 4612 or 4624 IP telephones, the Windows-based, Universal Access Phone Status software can be downloaded for free from the company's Web site at: www.avaya.co.uk/UniversalAccessPhoneStatus

"Despite the laws that protect the rights of people with disabilities, many businesses which consider employing a person who is disabled focus on the additional costs associated with special accommodation. These costs are a major factor in the high unemployment rate amongst people with disabilities. To overcome this, we embed accessibility solutions within our communication systems, or for download from our Web site at no additional cost. As a result, companies and people with disabilities don't face added costs that have been a barrier to recruiting people with disabilities," said Clive Sawkins, vice-president for Avaya in the UK and Ireland.

Universal Access Status joins Avaya's extensive portfolio of accessible solutions, also which includes:

  • Avaya TTY-on-IP within Communication Manager that allows people who are hard of hearing to use TTY, also known as text terminals, over Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony systems. As calls are made over an IP network, users benefit from significantly reduced call costs between different locations.
  • Avaya Speech Access for Communication Manager that allows people with visual or mobility impairments to use spoken commands to:
    • access a corporate phone directory
    • place or transfer a call
    • establish a conference call or remotely activate call forwarding
  • Avaya Self-Service Solutions (such as Interactive Voice Response) that supports speech access and are interoperable with TTY devices used by people with hearing-impairments
  • Avaya Messaging Solutions (Intuity AUDIX, Modular Messaging and IP Office VoiceMail Pro) that include TTY interfaces, which provide TTY users with access to the same messaging capabilities available to other voice-only users. This allows hearing-impaired users to operate their voicemail account to record and playback TTY messages that would have otherwise been inaccessible to them, involving no additional investment in hardware and using the same voicemail system as their co-workers

 

Notes To Editors: Since the early 1960s, people who are hard-of-hearing have relied on text terminals, commonly referred to as TTY devices, to communicate over telephone networks. Prior to developments by Avaya, these devices could not work reliably when audio compression was used or when audio "packets" were lost or delayed within the network. These conditions are difficult to achieve economically in typical VoIP wide area networks. For a more cost-effective, reliable solution, Avaya has developed the special software required to support UK-standard 50 baud Baudot-format TTY devices.

About Avaya
Avaya Inc. designs, builds and manages communications networks for more than one million businesses worldwide, including over 90 percent of the FORTUNE 500®. Focused on businesses large to small, Avaya is a world leader in secure and reliable Internet Protocol (IP) telephony systems and communications software applications and services.

Driving the convergence of voice and data communications with business applications - and distinguished by comprehensive worldwide services - Avaya helps customers leverage existing and new networks to achieve superior business results. For more information visit the Avaya Web site: http://www.avaya.com

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