In the past, disabled persons were primarily hired for routine work such as assembly line work at a manufacturer or accounting operations. KDDI believes that supporting IT education will increase the number of occupational choices and help provide more choices in life to children with disabilities. Cultivating science and engineering talent in areas such as IT, is one form of CSR that a telecommunications company can engage in, so we are undertaking the following initiatives.
Initiative 1 "A broad introduction to the joy of app creation for the hearing impaired"
On March 8, 2015, the company held an IT class for hearing impaired students.
The class was held for middle school students at a school for the deaf who expressed a desire to create their own app. The students who created their original app said that the experience, "broadened their future horizons."
Initiative 2 "Developing a track and field starter app for the hearing impaired"
A three-day class to develop a track starter app was held for students at a school for the deaf on September 19, 20, and 23, 2015. Track and field events typically use a pistol to signal the start of a race. However, because deaf athletes cannot hear the sound of the pistol, they must look up to see the pistol smoke and confirm the start signal, which puts them at a time disadvantage.
KDDI held a class to develop a track starter app to help the track and field students resolve a problem that they themselves were facing.
Stakeholder's Voice (Teacher at a school for the Deaf)
In March of 2016, KDDI released the Android and iPhone versions of the app. The app created by the students last September was further refined by professionals and then released.
The app was introduced to people from around the world at the 3rd World Deaf Athletics Championships held in June. It was well received by people from every country, and we hope that in the future it will be widely used around the world.
Starter-app for hearing-impaired athletes can be downloaded here.