Google Announces Partnership With Connect Direct

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CSD’s Connect Direct and Google Launch ‘ASL Now’ Accessibility Solution for the Deaf Community

Orange and blue Connect Direct Logo

Connect Direct, a subsidiary of Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) announced today a new partnership with Google Accessibility that provides the deaf and hard of hearing community with direct Google customer support in American Sign Language (ASL).  For the first time, deaf consumers can communicate directly in real-time with the Google Disability Support team in ASL for questions related to Google accessibility features and functionalities within Google’s products.

CSD is the world’s largest deaf-led social impact organization and for more than 40 years has pioneered leading communications solutions for a more accessible and inclusive world.  Connect Direct, Engineered by CSD, is the leading provider of comprehensive ASL customer contact center solutions, providing organizations with one-to-one customer service directly in ASL.

“We are very pleased to be working with Google Accessibility for a more inclusive world,” said Christopher Soukup, CEO of CSD. “Few things are more fundamental to our sense of fulfillment and purpose in life than the ability to connect freely directly with others in your own preferred language.  I commend Google for its leadership in removing barriers to a full communication experience for deaf and hard of hearing people and have no doubt that many other businesses will soon want to follow their example.”

With the Google Disability service powered by Connect Direct, deaf and hard of hearing consumers who are ASL users can contact the Google Disability Support team by clicking on an “ASL Now” button for any questions related to Google accessibility features and functionalities within Google’s products.  The service provides an immediate connection to Google support representatives who are deaf and fluent in ASL through a videophone number and web-based real-time communication (RTC).

“We’re thrilled to have partnered with Connect Direct and TELUS international to offer American Sign Language support for the deaf community on Google’s products,” said Kyndra LoCoco, Partner and Community Programs Manager, Google Accessibility.  “This is just one more step towards our mission to provide the most accessible support possible and we implore others to join us in this journey.”

“Leveraging next-gen digital solutions, advanced contact center technology and inspired agents, TELUS International, alongside Connect Direct and Communication Service for the Deaf, is pleased to provide leading customer experiences to support Google’s mission to deliver accessible products and apps for all users to enjoy,” said Ali Wilson, Senior Global Manager, Analyst Relations and PR, TELUS International.

“Providing direct customer service in our native language for the deaf community is something we are working every day to make possible and Google shares the same values as we do when it comes to equal communication access for everyone, said Craig J. Radford, Director of Strategy and Business Development for Connect Direct.  “This is just the beginning.  There is no question that we will see the expansion of these services, giving the deaf community equal access to communication in our native language, helping improve customer service and creating employment opportunities for deaf people.  All of this aligns perfectly with what we do at CSD and Connect Direct.”

Want to learn more about providing customer service in ASL?

Check out ASL Now and Connect Direct.

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