TEX for the Deaf

Everything can be said, not everything can be heard

Photo of Samolia Giudice
3 2

Written by

Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • Yes

Eligibility: Date of Birth

04/02/98

Where are you located:

The United States, Colorado: Colorado Springs 80923

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

https://www.facebook.com/samolia.giudice

Date Started

05/31/2018

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Idea (hoping to get started in the future)

1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."

2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

About 15% of the United States population have some sort of hearing problem. As technology rapidly changes, items such as TTYs are outdated and are no longer effective ways for deaf communication. We need a more personal and direct way of communicating with these types of customers who heavily rely on American Sign Language in their everyday lives.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

T-Mobile is famous for care and we can take it to the next level by resolving a pain point of closing a communication gap for deaf individuals. The idea is to have a dedicated Team of Experts who are certified in American Sign Language (ASL) to service those individuals. Deaf individuals will be able to have access to video phone through the T-Mobile App. The video phone will connect them straight over to a representative who can interact with them face to face. This eliminates the middle man and we can directly engage with our customers.

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

Currently, when the hearing impaired call in they use a video relay service that can be like playing Chinese whisperers, where the information gets lost in translation. With the Deaf Team of Experts, our certified ASL employees are also trained in T-Mobiles lines of business. The team is able to have a live conversations about their account or technical needs. The customer calls in and will find it to be less time consuming and quicker than trying to get an interpreter.

5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

Although there are competing interpreter services such as Sorenson, it's not nearly as personal and the deaf individual never gets to see your face or hear your voice. This idea has never been done by a wireless industry.

6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

My family has a hereditary gene of becoming deaf. Growing up I have been involved in the deaf community and have seen that it is a huge pain point having to call into places to get issues resolved. Making the deaf community feel more involved and being able to have conversations with their carrier would be life changing!

7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

My idea would to have a trail project to run a small group pilot the program. The deaf community is big on culture and innovative ideas such as this will spread rapidly throughout the community.

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?

I would need a good team who is willing to learn T-Mobile lines of business and who is certified. I would need to budget how much it would cost to have those individuals hired on as well as cost to develop the program.

9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support

10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.

I have had the opportunity to work with some co-workers and family who have helped me come up with smaller details to help support the idea. It started with an open conversation and brainstorming.

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French) (6)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • Disability community
  • Other

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • T-Mobile page or contact

Complete this evaluation to see the results from the rest of the community

The community is currently evaluating this idea.

3 comments

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Photo of Tia Johnston Brown
Team

I love this! If it takes off it might even encourage others to follow suit. T-Moible is always the one leading the way, revolutionizing the industry so why not in this way too? What do you think some of the challenges might be in getting this off the ground?

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