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Engaging With Deaf & Hard of Hearing Customers and Employees
Every day, 1-2 million Deaf Americans are forced to communicate either through a 3rd party or secondary language in order to reach customer support. This session will share new technology and resources available today allowing your agency to provide direct video communication for customer support in sign language, instead of relying on outdated 3rd party interpreters or TTY's. Learn how to create jobs and hire qualified deaf employees with ease, while providing equitable customer support and gaining customers from an untapped market in the process.

Learning Outcomes:
-Understand the pros & cons of current customer support methods & equitable options now available
-Learn why 1 in 4 deaf quit due to discrimination & how to avoid isolation for people w/ a disability
-Learn innovative ways to reach an untapped 2 million+ customer market and internally create jobs

The 2021 Forum Webinar Series is sponsored by the Walton Family Foundation.

Sep 16, 2021 11:00 AM in Central Time (US and Canada)

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Vannessa LeBoss
Business Manager + CPACC @Communication Service for the Deaf
Vannessa LeBoss is the Director of Operations in Connect Direct. She is responsible for creating and bridging the connections between target organizations and Connect Direct. Her role results in creating jobs for the Deaf community and providing the first truly equitable communication access experience for deaf individuals in the United States. Vannessa was integral in creating and opening the world's first completely Deaf contact center in Austin, TX. Prior to this, she co-founded 360 Empower Consulting, where she provides consultation specific to improving access for organizations. She played a major role in building a start-up sign language interpreting agency in 1996, and over the course of 19 years, the company grew into one of the 10 largest sign language interpreting agencies in the United States. Vannessa is currently a Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) and completing her degree (Major Business Management/Minor Entrepreneurship) at BYU.
Craig Radford
Vice President, Connect Direct @Communication Service for the Deaf
Craig Radford has been shaping the advancement of communication for the Deaf community throughout his 20+ year career. Initially spending over 12 years from the very onset of Video Relay Services, he became a two-time entrepreneur, expanding employment opportunities for his local community. Successfully selling each company, he transitioned over to the first truly equitable approach for customer support to deaf customers 4 years ago with Connect Direct. As a speaker, author of two books, Olympic coach, chairman, presenter, and executive, he has impacted hearing and deaf communities alike in furthering accessibility, effective communication, and the creation of jobs specifically targeted for qualified deaf candidates. Craig received his bachelor’s degree in English and Business Information Systems from Utah State University, then studied in the MBA marketing program at the University of Phoenix. He is a Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC).