This year’s Diana Ferguson Diversity and Inclusion Champion believes employing professionals with disabilities is a win/win solution.

Raymond Stover is Vice President of Sales and Marketing for MyCallCloud and Founder of BPO Edge. In 2017, a customer approached him with a unique problem: the customer was looking for a contact center to help with customer satisfaction surveys, but larger centers weren’t interested in the smaller projects. Around that time, the Denver Post ran an article about Mike Hess winning the Martin Luther King, Jr. Business Award for his work with BIT. It caught Raymond’s attention, and he reached out to Mike. After learning more about BIT and BIT’s mission, Raymond thought he may have a solution to both issues.

One of the biggest issues facing contact centers is employee retention. Companies spend thousands on training just to have the employee not show up to work. Blind and visually impaired (BVI) professionals’ rate of unemployment is more than double that of their non-disabled peers. Why not dip into this untapped pool of talent to solve the retention issue in contact centers? “BVI are smart, talented, possess great listening skills and are loyal,” says Raymond. “It’s a win/win.”

Raymond went to his partners with his solution. In order to make the project work, they had to adjust the current software to make it accessible. Raymond and his partners, all self-proclaimed nerds, jumped on the challenge and without much effort, adapted the software. It turned out this wouldn’t be the only customer who needed their accessible software. They brought on another account who already had BVI working for them. Their accessible software was a perfect fit!

“Raymond has been a phenomenal advocate,” says Mike. “He was willing to make the move right away and go to his partners and clients and make the value case.”

“I am humbled by the award,” comments Raymond. “I’m just a regular guy doing the right thing and finding solutions.”