The Assisted Access study by Able Australia, was funded through the ACCAN Grants Scheme and aimed to develop a model for Deafblind consumers to access their telco’s customer service with ease and security.
Consumers who are Deafblind have both a significant hearing and vision loss. Current information and privacy practices usually require the customer to interact using their own voice – not a facilitator’s – and therefore prevent these consumers from easy phone access to their telcos. Text based alternatives are often also inadequate when using specialised screen set ups and braille based systems.
The study concluded that a solution could be the use of a personal identification number (PIN). The unique PIN would resolve privacy and security issues and provide an alternative to voice identification. When presented along with other account information, a PIN should constitute sufficient identity verification for Deafblind consumers who need to communicate with call centre staff through an Auslan interpreter.
The report suggests the PIN could be randomly generated and sent to the customer prior to each interaction, or assigned to the customer and kept on file as part of their account information. The PIN would add security and help protect the customer’s privacy.
Not-for-profit telecommunications provider, Jeenee Mobile has already responded, launching its system which enables customers to select a PIN of their choice which will be attached to their account, enabling Deafblind consumers to contact Jeenee Mobile through a third party using the PIN.