Prudential Gives Differently-abled Employees A Voice
Steve Adubato speaks with Diane Hettinger, Director of AD Accommodation at Prudential Financial, and Thomas Chappell, a System Programmer at Prudential Financial, from the Amazon Alexa VOICE Summit at NJIT, to understand how the organization is giving differently-abled individuals a voice in the workplace.
"This is a fascinating segment on a lot of levels. We want to welcome two of our special guests, and I'll tell you about the gentleman on my right. This is Diane Hettinger, Director of Health and Wellness at a little company called? Prudential. Now what do you guys do? I'm joking! I'm joking! [laughter] And this is Thomas Chappell, who is a Technologist at Prudential. And Thomas is working with Tyler, because Thomas has a hearing issue, correct? That's correct. Yes. I'm deaf. I lost my hearing. Okay. So this segment, as we were getting ready for it, what's so fascinating about it... we're talking at the Voice Summit. Thomas has a powerful voice. He has important things to say. But the question is what technology is available to make a difference in the workplace so that his voice can be heard? That's right. That's correct. Talk to us. And then we'll talk to Thomas. So the first thing that I always like to communicate is that Prudential is so interested in getting the best and the brightest talent. So we're always looking for the greatest talent that we can find, you know, as any other corporation. To service our customers, to be successful for our shareholders and our stakeholders. And what we're finding is that there are so... there's such a huge community of differently-abled individuals that aren't tapped into in the workplace. The unemployment rate is tremendous compared to the unemployment rate of the general population. Sure. So how can we reach that voice? How can we bring in that talent? And help those individuals be successful, and make Prudential a company... Which also helps Prudential and helps the people you serve everyday? Oh of course. Of course. It helps us reach our business goals. So Thomas, there are a couple of technologies that are helpful to you. One is called video relay service - VRS - correct? Yeah. VRS. Yes. Video relay service, like you said. That's if I wanted to call an individual, or if I wanted to call into a meeting, I'd have a screen that I could pull up on my iPad, or an app where an where an interpreter will come up from a certain company, you have an account with that app, and... so Prudential provides me with that. So I'd have a meeting with... I can call into. It's also like FaceTime almost. So I call... I have an interpreter appear on the app, the interpreter will call into the meeting for me, you know, talk with the individuals who are in the meeting that were relaying... interpret everything back and forth to me..."