Throughout the month of October, Amazon has observed National Disability Employment Awareness Month to recognize the vital role people with disabilities play in our global workforce and reiterate our commitment to accessibility.
One way we are creating a more inclusive work environment is the installation of sign language video stations. The video stations are available in operations centers in North America and Europe. They show a rotating series of videos about sign language topics and words. It helps employees learn the basics of sign language for their region and improve communication with their colleagues who are deaf and hard of hearing.
“It gives visibility to our colleagues who are deaf and hard of hearing while giving everyone the opportunity to learn sign language,” said Josh Smith, project creator and learning business partner for North American Sort Centers. “Walking through an Amazon site and seeing employees learn and communicate with the Deaf community is very exciting and provides an all-around better work experience for everyone.”
Since the project was launched a year ago, the video stations have been installed at more than 200 sites across eight different countries, including Canada, France, Poland, Spain, U.S., UK, with additional countries to follow. Employees have reported they are picking up sign language and are starting to better understand the experience of the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community.
This project is a demonstration of Amazon’s commitment to inclusion and our deaf and hard-of-hearing employees. Our commitment continues day to day through meaningful engagement using sign language interpreters and assistive technology. Our Disability Leave Services and People Accessibility teams work on equitable solutions for employees with disabilities across Amazon.