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How Virtual Volunteering can Change Company Culture

How Virtual Volunteering can Change Company Culture

These days, online support is everything. But is it accessible to everyone?
Will Butler
Will Butler
VP, Community
Handheld iPhone depicting Be My Eyes call notification.
Handheld iPhone depicting Be My Eyes call notification.

Right now 2.2 billion people are living with vision impairments – the vast majority of whom do not have access to the support they need. That’s why Be My Eyes was invented: to ensure that any time someone needs a pair of eyes to see, someone is there. Remote assistance can be a gamechanger – a life-changer, even – and Be My Eyes has remote support software that’s designed with accessibility in mind.

Be My Eyes is more than just an app: We’re a global community for people with various types of vision. Powered by millions of volunteers and a family of corporate leaders (Google, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Verizon and more), it’s our mission to make the world more accessible from the bottom up by making sure each and every person understands what “accessibility” means and how it can be served. Even in times of remote work, a Be My Eyes program can have a huge effect on your workplace culture and start a new conversation around what “inclusion” really means.

For this, our community team recently created a pyramid. If you’re new to diversity and inclusion and workplace volunteering, it might look a bit like a mountain. But we can help make it feel like a walk in the park.

Much like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, it starts with the basics: Things you can do at your company to build a D&I or CSR program that’s truly inclusive of the billions of people living with vision impairments. It starts with just making sure a consumer can get through their day, and the results – seen at the top of the pyramid – are things like inclusive HR practices and products that work for everybody. That’s the goal!

Getting your company to “full inclusion” might feel like a hike, but it’s achievable. Making your products or services accessible to all is a program, not a project, and Be My Eyes creates enterprise-level software tools, remote volunteering programs, and public relations support to help you along every step of the way.

Now let’s turn that scary “Mount Inclusion” into a Great Pyramid we can admire together. Check out our pyramid diagram below and reach out to us at solutions@bemyeyes.com to activate your organization around inclusion and access for all, starting today!

Hierarchy of Inclusion

STEP 1: Support Consumers: Ensure that any customer or stakeholder with limited vision can get accessible customer support. See: Specialized Help.

STEP 2: Change Culture: Build awareness internally about what is accessibility, inclusion and universal design. Empower your staff to easily volunteer to provide small but meaningful acts of remote assistance to the visually impaired, and build momentum within the company. See: Corporate Volunteering with Be My Eyes.

STEP 3: Public Awareness: Share the news! Online volunteering is a huge new movement; by joining the community and promoting the universal message of small acts of kindness, you can spread good will and become a flag-bearer for accessibility. See campaigns and resources from Google, Clearblue, Herbal Essences or Lloyds Banking Group for inspiration – and check out the in-depth Disability Support Playbook from Microsoft.

STEP 4: Boost Employment: The US unemployment rate amongst the visually impaired is above 70% and worse elsewhere. Equip hiring staff company-wide to recruit, evaluate and accommodate employees who are blind or have low vision. See: Be My Eyes for Work.

STEP 5: Inclusive Products: By connecting with consumers, galvanizing employees and rallying the public, the design of inclusive products and services will become a natural and expected result – and your accessibility and inclusion teams will no longer feel like they’re fighting an uphill battle!

To make vision support part of your company’s gameplan, reach out to us at solutions@bemyeyes.com. We look forward to helping you, your team and your customers see the world together.

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