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ClearCaptions for Cisco Helps the Hard of Hearing

One in five Americans have hearing loss in at least one ear, and statistics suggest almost two thirds of these Americans are in the workforce. Trouble with hearing on the phone in the workplace can be stressful, and most audiologists recommend hearing loss solutions to their patients.

Similar to captioning on a television, ClearCaptions has developed a secure Cisco-certified captioning technology that makes Cisco Unified IP Phones an incredibly powerful tool for people with hearing loss. With ClearCaptions for Cisco,  employees simply press one button to hear and read their calls. Plus, it’s discreet: Only the employee knows when they are using captions.

Employers can make a profound improvement in employee productivity by providing reasonable accommodations that address this concern in the workplace. “My phone is central to my job,” says South Eastern Washington Service Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Board President Melissa Ruth.

“Whether I’m on a conference call or talking one-on-one with management, my hearing loss can put me at a disadvantage. I used to miss names, numbers and have to ask people to repeat themselves, but ClearCaptions for Cisco allows me to see what I’m hearing on my phone, making me much more confident in the workplace — it’s been a very important accommodation for me.”

To learn more about Ruth and her experience with ClearCaptions for Cisco and workplace accommodation, watch this video:

Interoperability Verification Testing (IVT) certification provides assurance for organizations that ClearCaptions for Cisco has been thoroughly tested and verified to work with Cisco equipment, which can reduce integration costs, accelerate deployments and minimize the risk of failure.

Learn more about the Cisco Accessibility Initiative.

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Disability and Technical Expertise from Cisco interns

December 2, 2011 at 7:51 am PST

“When I first got here, the [intern] orientation was talking about all business stuff…supply chain..and I’m a computer science major, and I was thinking, uh-oh, I’m in the wrong place.” Kelley Duran said as we settled down to talk about her internship here at Cisco.  Her classmate Samuel Sandoval had the same reaction: Honestly, I thought I was in [the] wrong group since I’m in IT [information technology]”

Internships are a great way for students to make the connection between their studies and the business world.  Combining education with practical application through internships means an easier transition into the workforce after college.  Even better is when education and personal expertise are both channeled into the right internship.

Kelley and Samuel are studying Computer Science and Information Technology respectively at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. I sat down with Kelley, Samuel and their Cisco mentor Shraddha Chaplot to get their thoughts on how to create a successful internship program for college students with hearing disabilities.


Samuel Sandoval, Shraddha Chaplot and Kelley Duran spell Cisco in American Sign Language at Cisco Headquarters

Internship Projects

Samuel and Kelley interned for 11 weeks in Cisco’s Software Engineering Accessibility team.  The Cisco Accessibility team is focused on ensuring Cisco products are accessible and usable by people with disabilities, whether by design or through compatible use with assistive technology.

Samuel worked as a lead developer for real time text chat on the Read More »

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