Hearing & Deaf Community Gain a Greater Voice with On-Site Video Calls
The Albuquerque Sign Language Academy revolutionizes internal communications while ensuring faculty is entirely accessible to the public
Established as a collaborative and fully inclusive learning environment, the Albuquerque Sign Language Academy (ASL Academy) holds reachability and communication not just as an institutional need but as a core value.
Mr. Martinez explained, “Everyone had a pitch for me, but that wasn’t the case with Ohiya and Wildix. It was it was very much a conversation about ‘I want to understand your organization and what you’re looking for,’ and only after that did it turn into a discussion about cost, support and all that — as opposed to ‘this is our offer for the month, we’re running this special’ and so on. Everybody that we’ve been associated with from Ohiya, and now from Wildix, really nails it when it comes to being understanding of the school, our mission, the heart of what we’re trying to do.” This care came in addition to seeing Ohiya discuss the Wildix system, Mr. Martinez also explained. “When we saw the product itself, it was a no-brainer for us,” he said.
Given the nature of the Academy’s UC&C setup — one which seamlessly blends audio and video conferencing into school communications to connect deaf and hearing students and faculty alike — it is unsurprising that the school has found particular value in the technology of the Wildix system.
The advanced usability of the system extended beyond on-site communications as well. Mr. Martinez also explained that the system enables greater mobility and, in tandem, facilitates the community outreach of the Academy’s mission.
“We’re not getting the number of complaints that we used to get at all,” he said. “The community is able to get through to us, because someone always picks up or returns the phone call.”
The Wildix installation has also brought mobility to ASL Academy faculty, in particular through the Wildix mobile app and the voice-to-text transcription of voicemails delivered via email.
“In my role as executive director, I function as a superintendent, as a lobbyist and as the policy guy, so I’m usually not sitting at my desk able to answer a phone call,” Mr. Martinez said. “The fact that I have access to the school phone system on my cell or when I get to check emails was huge. As far as efficiency goes, the bar was raised.”
“Wildix gives us the freedom to not be at our desk and to not miss out because we’re not able to answer the phone. We’re untethered, which is really helpful to us.”
Community outreach efforts have also improved thanks to heightened internal efficiency. Because of the flexibility of the Wildix system, faculty now require less time from their colleagues, as is the case with Raphael Martinez and the Academy’s community engagement director, Rachael Mesillas.
“The fact that I can manage voice messages through my email is huge,” Mr. Martinez emphasized. “Before, I would have Rachael check my voicemails and let me know if I’m missing anything important. Now,I don’t have to rely on Rachael, and it allows her to do her work without having to tend to my needs.”
Ms. Mesillas echoed appreciation for the system’s mobility.