Just slightly more than half of deaf people ages 25 to 64 have a job versus 76% of those who can hear, the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes notes. The ability to engage in the interview process and to communicate in the workplace are real barriers for those who can’t hear.
The Nagish app works by translating text-to-speech and speech-to-text while someone is typing or speaking. “Nagish means accessible in Hebrew. We're making telecommunications more accessible to people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing,” says Tomer Aharoni, co-founder and CEO of the platform. “Whether they work with you, or they just want to contact you.”
With the app there won’t be a need to hire ASL interpreters for employers who want to hire deaf people or who already have deaf workers on staff. Interpreters can be cost prohibitive, especially for smaller businesses.
“It's sad to say this, but hiring people who are deaf is something that only the bigger companies could do because it's very expensive to have an interpreter,” Aharoni says. “We’re trying to bridge that gap.”
While Nagish is joining up with Comcast, Aharoni’s goal is to eventually make the app accessible to other companies large and small.