handout - Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind

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Call Center for Visually
Impaired Users of
Assistive Technology
Migdal Or, Israel
Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired
w w w . mi g d a l o r . o rg . i l
Introduction:
Migdal-Or (Lighthouse)
A functional and vocational rehabilitation center for people who
are blind or visually impaired
Our Mission: To enable people who are visually impaired
or blind to live normative and independent lives.
Goals
o To improve the independent daily functioning of people who
are visually impaired or blind.
o
To integrate them into the job market according to their
abilities and needs.
Strategies for Facilitating Social Change

Services

Distribution of practical and theoretical information

Technology
Functional Rehabilitation Services

Low Vision Clinic

O&M and life skills training division.

Counselling and family therapy.

Call Center for Assistive Technology Users
Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Vocational Assessment

Training

Support for job seekers and employers

Transitional Employment Center
Key Facts About Israel
o Up to 10% of all people with disabilities are blind or visually impaired.
o
23,628 people are legally registered as blind:
•
Up to 8% - under the age of 18
•
Up to 27% - of working age (18-65)
•
Up to 65% - above working age
o 50,000 visually impaired are not registered as blind.
o Up to 30% of all visually impaired (whether or not registered) are using
assistive technology – approximately 20,000 individuals.
o A sharp increase in assistive technology users is expected in the next 10
years.
Accessibility Laws in Israel
o The Equal Rights of People with Disabilities Law was passed in
Israel in 1998.
o By 2017 all private and public entities need to comply with service
accessibility regulations.
o Telecommunications companies are required to provide
accessible services.
The Technological Age
The growing accessibility of information and technological
advancement, especially social media, offer prospective
improvement in the quality of life of visually impaired and
blind people (Brodin & Lindstrand, 2003(.
Web apps offer new possibilities for integration in social,
educational, vocational and leisure activities
(Burgstahler, 2006; Shpigelman & Gill, 2013).
Using ICT affects functional independence,
employment integration and social integration.
Difficulties Encountered by Blind or
Visually Impaired Individuals, using
technological devices
o Often Cannot receive assistance from technical support centers, family
members or friends.
o Customer service providers for smartphones and computers lack the
necessary knowledge for sufficient guidance.
o IT support in the workplace unable to provide appropriate support for
employees.
o Free apps cannot be used due to lack of appropriate support
The idea :
• Call Center for visually impaired assistive technology users.
• The Call Center will train people with blindness or visual impairment to
be technology support specialists and will employ them as such (TSS).
• The Call Center will support and guide employers and others involved
with people with visual impairment or blindness.
How Did We Achieve It?
o A specialist in Call Center management designed a
guiding format and determined the standard for services.
o We developed specific processes to select and train
the TSS.
o We implemented a more accessible Customer
Relationship Management product – ”Salesforce”
o We funded this new venture from Migdal Or budget
reserves.
And Today
o Operations began in February 2014.
o The staff includes a manager and 5 TSS.
o The project is led by a steering committee.
o We are working with the Salesforce CRM system and the IP
Centrex Telecom system.
o We entered into a service agreement with the company that
provides the Ray smartphone.
o Israel Venture Network supports the project.
o We provide the Library for the Blind with technical support for their
digital online library.
Frequency of Calls and Areas of Support
Technical Support January - June
180
160
140
120
100
80
60
40
20
0
January
February
March
April
May
June
Frequency of Calls and Areas of Support
Technical Support: January- June 2014
Screen Reader
2%
Enlargement Software
1% 1%
3%
Speech engine program
7%
Scanning program
23%
Braille
Operating System
Office
Surfing the Internet
Mobile Phones
23%
4%
3%
Software
Social Networks
2%
Maintenance
Refferal supplier
Other
1%
10%
6%
15%
Frequency of Calls and Areas of Support
Screen reading software
1% 1%
Cobra
22%
Jaws
30%
Nvda
Windows Eye
Information
46%
Frequency of Calls and Areas of Support
Mobile Phones
5%
Talk
Rey
25%
Information
Android
46%
Iphone
20%
4%
Upcoming Challenges
o Marketing the service – for users and other companies.
o Finding investors.
o Implementing our business plan within three years
to ensure the sustainability of the service.
o Examining the possibility of replicating the project abroad.
o Creating a platform for sharing technological information.
“One tiny candle
will banish darkness
from a huge room”.
Baal Shem Tov.
Financial Planning
The Annual Budget : $ 200,000
o $ 120,000 income from technical support services to the Israeli
cellular companies, ISPs & technology providers
o $ 40,000 income from sales and services
o $ 40,000 income from expansion to other services in the market
o Possible subscription fees from customers under consideration
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