By Rhiana Cabarco
Technology outsourcing giant Accenture has launched in the Philippines an office facility for PWD employees – a first for the company’s global operations.
An actual office space at Accenture’s delivery center at Cybergate 2 building in Mandaluyong City houses the “Suite of Accessibility Solutions” especially made for PWD employees.
“We sincerely believe that innovation is equated with inclusion and diversity. This would allow our people to bring their unique perspectives and skills on the table regardless of who they are,” said Lito Tayag, country managing director of Accenture in the Philippines.
“As a people-driven company, we take pride in developing and pioneering this initiative in the Philippines, which underscores our unwavering commitment in advancing inclusion and diversity and the welfare of our people,” added Tayag.
Accenture said that tomorrow’s economy thrives on the proper acclimation of diverse populations, which includes under-recognized groups such as the PWD (persons with disability) sector.
“We actually help global companies become high-performance businesses. In this context, we want to be able to leverage technology and help our own employees in the way they work and live, particularly persons with disabilities,” Tayag said.
The dedicated office space was built to house assistive technologies and equipment readily available to employees.
“First, it’s a place for anyone to come and congregate and be accepted. Secondly, it is a place where the disabled comes for solutions. Thirdly, it is also a workplace for people to experience the technology and know how they can work with these technologies,” said Paul Ranjan, intelligent cloud and infrastructure lead of Accenture in the Philippines.
Rudy Guiao, IT lead for Asean and Greater China at Accenture, said aside from being an innovation center, the facility can also serve as a good laboratory as there are a lot of innovations happening in Accenture.
“What we want is pioneering a space where we can showcase, test, and make it accessible for people with disabilities,” he said. “I think it’s a cultural and a mindset change. We need the whole community to be part of the whole journey to ensure that everybody in the community believes that there is greater strength in inclusion and diversity.”
Accenture said the services in the facility are divided into three categories:
- Sense of Hearing: They have the Dhvani, a self-developed software that creates real-time subtitles for videos together with translations in text for video and conference calls. This category also includes noise-cancellation headsets, speakers, and noise-level meters.
- Sense of Sight: Braille-stickered keyboards are offered with electronic magnifiers and non-visual desktop access, voice activated technologies, blind sticks, Braille blocks, and panels.
- Mobility: Offices are equipped with smart lights and sliding doors for easy access. Manual and automated wheelchairs are all accessible.
Marixi Carlos, Accenture’s inclusion and diversity lead in the Philippines, said the suite of accessibility solutions underscores the company’s commitment to creating a culture of equality and inclusivity.
“We are enabling our people with best-fit technologies that will unlock their unique talents helping them to succeed both professionally and personally,” Carlos said.