Comcast Launches Customer Service Program for the Deaf Community in American Sign Language
Comcast and Connect Direct, a subsidiary of Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD), today launched customer service support via American Sign Language (ASL) for Internet Essentials, Xfinity Internet, and general Xfinity billing questions, called ASL Now. 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.
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Comcast and Connect Direct today launched a customer service program for the deaf community in American Sign Language, called ASL Now. (Photo: Business Wire)
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.
“The Internet is an incredible resource so long as you have the skills and the tools to use it,” said David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Comcast Corporation. “By partnering with Connect Direct and working with the deaf community, we want to address and break down the barriers to broadband adoption that are unique to this population. That starts by being able to speak with customers in their native language.”