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Visually Handicapped Can Now Seek Jobs in Call Centers with Help of Communications Technology from Avaya

06-10-2004
  • First in Singapore used by visually impaired to transmit signals over IP Telephony networks; Provide audible announcements of phone activity displays for visually impaired

The Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH), together with Avaya Singapore and Radiance Communications, today announced that SAVH will implement an IP (Internet Protocol) Contact Center with Avaya Universal Access Phone Status.

The Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH), together with Avaya Singapore and Radiance Communications, today announced that SAVH will implement an IP (Internet Protocol) Contact Center with Avaya Universal Access Phone Status - a state-of-the-art business communications application specially designed for the visually handicapped. This is expected to significantly boost not only the employment prospects of the visually handicapped in Singapore, but also their ability to keep up to date with information flow to enhance their quality of life and productivity at work.

This Avaya communication technology, the first of its kind to be introduced in Singapore, allows the visually impaired to hear the status of typically displayed telephone activity features, such as caller ID or the line on which a call is coming in or on hold. When used in an IP contact center, the feature can provide the visually handicapped call center agent with information such as the number of calls in the queue and the average waiting time for the calls.

The agent can also identify the caller and respond accordingly and speedily to him or her. This works well for visually handicapped telemarketers or call center agents and is a great leap for their community since this technology will greatly enhance their employability in the burgeoning call center market in Singapore.

The Avaya technology, which allows the visually handicapped to handle phone calls almost as effectively as ordinary telemarketers or call center agents, will benefit an estimated 500 totally blind persons, registered with SAVH, who are aged between 19-60, the age group most likely to be economically active.

"Adaptive technology from vendors like Avaya has benefited the lives of the visually handicapped in a big way. Through the use of screen readers and screen enlarging software, visually handicapped persons can, amongst other things, surf the Internet, read and write e-mails, write reports and view spreadsheets. We even have talking watches, clocks and calculators that greatly aid visually handicapped people like us. What is even more significant is that more could be gainfully employed if technology could be made more accessible through affordable software and applications designed to meet our needs," said Albert Toh, the Communications Department Head for SAVH.

"We are pleased to work with SAVH to offer accessible, standards-based business communications solutions that provide functionally impaired inpiduals with opportunities in the enterprise workplace. This is part of our social commitment to level the playing field for job seekers with disabilities and to increase the pool of skilled and talented employees in Singapore. Avaya is a leader in providing communication solutions that help enterprises and organizations reduce cost, lower risk and grow revenue," said Tom Cheong, Managing Director ASEAN, Avaya.

"Radiance is excited to have a role in improving the lives of the visually handicapped. Being a leader in the communications solutions industry in Singapore, it is our mission not only to provide these world-class solutions to the corporate enterprises, but also help the society enjoy its technological benefits. The visually handicapped community was selected for the obvious and significant benefits that the Avaya application would bring to them," said Ng Kheng Ghee, Chief Executive Officer, Radiance Communications.

As part of its corporate citizenship initiative, Avaya is sponsoring the technology and Radiance Communications will provide professional consultancy, design, implementation and training services to SAVH, and the implementation process will be completed in the next two to four weeks.

About SAVH
The Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH) is a voluntary welfare organization set up in 1951 to assist visually handicapped persons develop skills for independent living and integration into society. It is affiliated to the National Council of Social Service and supported by Community Chest.

SAVH's objectives are: to assist visually handicapped persons develop skills for independent living and integration into society; and to educate the general public on causes of vision impairment and its prevention.

The association currently serves 2,500 clients from as young as 6 months old to 80 years old and provides a wide range of services that include providing support and counselling, referrals for early intervention, rehabilitation, vocational training and job placements. There are also low vision clinic services, library services with Braille and talking books and an assistive technology devices center. Through its many services and activities, the mission of the SAVH is "to help the Visually Handicapped help themselves."

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

About Radiance Communications
Radiance is one of Singapore's largest communications solutions providers. Backed by decades of experience, Radiance delivers customized communications solutions and services to Fortune 500 companies and enterprise businesses across all industries. Established in 1999 through a joint venture of Singapore's two dominant telecommunications players - Keppel T&T and SingTel, Radiance is a leader in the communications industry with the largest clientele base of more than 1,500 corporate customers spanning across Singapore and Malaysia.

Apart from traditional offerings like private branch exchanges (PBXs), Radiance also offers IP Telephony solutions and customized applications such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Multi-media Contact Center, Integrated Voice Response (IVR), Unified & Voice Messaging, Networking, Mobility and Wireless solutions. Radiance has been ISO 9002 certified since 1999. More information can be found on www.radiancecomms.com

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