Comcast and Connect Direct, a subsidiary of Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD), have launched customer service support via American Sign Language (ASL) for Internet Essentials, Xfinity Internet, and general Xfinity billing questions, called ASL Now, the company said.
With the combined expertise of both companies, Internet Essentials and Xfinity customers can now connect with customer service agents in their native language, ASL — the fourth most-used language in the United States. This is a first for the cable industry and it helps to further address the digital divide for Americans with disabilities by ensuring that members of the deaf community can get connected to the Internet at home without barriers.
The announcement was made at a digital inclusion rally at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (PSD) to celebrate Comcast´s Internet Essentials program, which is the nation´s largest, most comprehensive, and most successful Internet adoption program for low-income households. The launch of ASL Comcast customer support is a continuation of Comcast´s commitment to the disability community. It follows on the heels of the largest eligibility expansion in the history of the Internet Essentials program, announced earlier this year, to include all qualified low-income households, including people with disabilities.
According to Pew Research Center, the need to address the digital divide for people with disabilities is clear. The study found that 23 percent of people with disabilities say they never go online, and 57 percent say they do not even have a home broadband subscription.
In line with Comcast´s commitment to make products, services, and experiences accessible to the widest possible audience including people with disabilities, Comcast also has announced that it created an Internetessentials.com/accessibility landing page, with direct links to the new ASL Now chat function, the ability to order collateral materials in Braille and large print, and an accessibility-specific FAQ.
Connect Direct, a division of CSD, is business and technology solutions for contact center programs, specifically geared for deaf and hard of hearing consumers, while creating employment opportunities for the deaf community.
Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) is the largest deaf-led social impact organization in the world. For more than four decades, CSD has been a provider of creating and providing accessible technology solutions for the deaf community. For more information about CSD and Connect Direct visit www.csd.org and www.csd.org/whatwedo/connect-direct/
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with three primary businesses: Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal, and Sky. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.