Workforce Solutions is a public human resources organization that serves thirteen counties in the Houston-Galveston Gulf Coast Region by helping employers meet their workforce needs and individuals build careers, so both can compete in a global economy.
As we wrap up Deaf Awareness Month and transition into National Disability Employment Awareness Month, I would like to make everyone aware of a new “solution” that is now available at Workforce Solutions.
Workforce Solutions worked with Sorenson Communications to install an ntouch videophone at each of our office locations. This amazing technology empowers the Deaf community to communicate with both deaf and hearing contacts using Video Relay Service (VRS).
VRS uses a high-speed internet connection and videophone to allow a person that uses sign language to see an interpreter; the interpreter is also able to see the individual who uses sign language. The interpreter then calls the hearing user via a standard phone line and relays the conversation between the two parties.
We have always had TTY machines available, and hope the addition of videophones will do even more to encourage individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to come in and use the services offered in our offices.
While this “solution” is our newest addition, it is by no means the only assistive technology available in our offices. Each location also offers:
- Hearing aid compatible (HAC) phones with volume control
- Screen reading and screen magnification software
- Speakers / Headphones
- Pocket talkers – portable sound amplifier that allows users to hear more clearly
- Trackball mouse
- Large print materials
- Adjustable height tables
- Interpreting services (48 hour notice may be required)
So, whether you are an individual seeking to build your career or an employer seeking to diversify your workforce, contact your local Workforce Solutions to find out what kind of solutions we may be able to offer you.
Bobi Cook is the Senior Equal Opportunity Officer for Workforce Solutions – Gulf Coast Workforce Board. She currently utilizes her MBA and over ten cumulative years’ experience as a professional educator, quality systems manager, and auditor to ensure Workforce Solutions upholds the highest standards of equal opportunity and access to service for all its customers.