andy/ July 2, 2020/ blindness

On Thursday, June 25th, BeMyEyes hosted a free webinar. Guests from the Valuable 500, Microsoft, and Google attended to indulge in a wonderful discussion regarding their company and organizations’ accessibility accomplishments.

Be My Eyes is a free mobile app that connects sighted and blind users. Functioning through a video call, the Be My Eyes app allows blind users to request sighted help from volunteers and companies around the globe. After 5 years running, Be My Eyes has over 2 million volunteers in over 180 languages (Be My Eyes, 2020).

In 2018, Be My Eyes extended their services to include a customer support branch called Specialized Help. Microsoft was their first partner in this venture. Currently, blind and low-vision users are able to utilize the app for assistance from blind volunteers, and now additionally from companies representatives aligned with the Specialized Help partnership to provide customer support (Be My Eyes, 2020).

The webinar stressed the moral importance for companies to include accessible support and products in their business models, but also examined the advantages from a business angle. Caroline Casey, the founder of The Valuable 500 started the webinar off discussing the mission of the Valuable 500, the companies and organizations it encompasses, and how plentiful more work needs to be done to serve communities with accessible support. Neil Barnett, Microsoft’s Director of Inclusive Hiring for People with Disabilities, and Kyndra LoCoco, Google’s Accessibility Partner and Community Programs Manager, engaged in talks with Be My Eyes’ VP Will Butler. Barnett and LoCoco described Microsoft and Google’s disability support teams and the systems that they have put into place, and how these systems have assisted with positive feedback from customers, as well as fiscal growth in their companies overall. The webinar lasted about an hour long and allowed time for questions at the end.

Be My Eyes is looking forward to scheduling a similar online webinar in the upcoming fall. For now, download the Be My Eyes app for assistance or if you have the desire to volunteer.

To learn more about Be My Eyes, please visit: https://www.bemyeyes.com/
To learn more about The Valuable 500, please visit: https://www.thevaluable500.com/

To learn more about Microsoft’s Global Diversity and Inclusion initiatives, please visit: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/diversity/inside-microsoft/cross-disability/hiring.aspx
To learn more about Acessible Pharmacy, please visit: www.accessiblepharmacy.com To learn more about Accessibility at Google, please visit: https://www.google.com/accessibility/

n.a. (2020). Our story. Be My Eyes. Retrieved from https://www.bemyeyes.com/about

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