Innovating for Team Members with Disabilities

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Technology that drives human progress is at the core of our mission. In Brazil, our Research, Development and Innovation Center (LEAD) is developing assistive tools to make technology accessible to everyone, fostering employability and professional growth for people with disabilities – including our own team members.

The LEAD team, located in Fortaleza, Brazil, recently launched a new project developing assistive technologies to increase the inclusion of people with different disabilities in the production line of the Dell Brazil Factory, our manufacturing site in Hortolandia.

Performing daily work with greater ease and comfort

Through this partnership with LEAD, the Dell Brazil Factory is now deploying three prototypes of assistive technology tools to enable team members with hearing, movement and other disabilities to perform daily work with greater ease and comfort.

“Before the implementation of this project, I had to do my job testing the speakers of the computers with another team member’s assistance. Now I can do everything by myself! I’m enjoying the experience,” shared Rodrigo Barros, Production Line Associate with a hearing disability.

Prototypes at work in Brazil

MAIA

Already in use today, MAIA transforms sounds into visual stimuli, allowing those with hearing disabilities to manage “sound-triggered” tasks. For example, the Brazil factory employs around 50 hearing impaired team members, like Rodrigo, on the frontlines. Every notebook must go through a Full Quick Test procedure which requires team members to listen to audio prompts and react accordingly.

“MAIA represents a new accessibility era for our manufacturing with the use of technology. Three tablets have been installed and it’s exciting to see the happiness of our hearing impaired operators performing all tests without any restriction,” said Brazil factory Engineer leader responsible for testing, Ricardo Kina.

STEVE

Currently in the testing phase and set to deploy in January 2020, this is an exoskeleton allowing people with limitations in their lower limbs to work on the production line. The Steve prototype is undergoing clinical trials to further evolve and validate the research.

ARTRADE

This is an augmented reality (AR) solution focused on training new team members to work in manufacturing. This AR-based training platform uses a gamified reality training environment to help in the inclusion of people with disabilities. ARTRADE is also currently in the testing phase and set to deploy in January 2020.

Empowering team members to reach their full potential

All of these prototypes above are tailored to take into consideration the needs of the team members on the production line. “It’s great to see the passion of the Brazil factory Engineering team, and how they’re working to increase the inclusion of our team members with disabilities at manufacturing sites. Creating viable alternatives to help enable more activities to happen on the shop floor is part of our next manufacturing generation strategy,” said Valter Tunin, Brazil factory Engineering Director.

Embracing a culture of inclusion and diversity empowers all of our team members to reach their full potential. For more on how Dell supports team members with disabilities, check out our Diversity & Inclusion Space.

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