Innovative Practice 2021 on Inclusive Employment and ICT

Accessible phone calls for the Deaf for private and professional needs

Pedius is a social business based in Rome. In 2013, Pedius introduced an app that enables the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to make phone calls, 24/7, and without a sign interpreter. Users are able to read the response of their contact on their device, in real-time and may respond using text or their own voice. If a user responds to their contact with text, it will be read to their contact in an artificial voice. From 2013 until today Pedius has gained over 35,000 users and supports 7 languages.

“Pedius supports communication between colleagues as well as employees and customers.”

Lorenzo Di Ciaccio, CEOPedius
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Pedius Work Inclusion
Organisation:Pedius
Country
of Implementation
Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China-Hong Kong, France, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, Spain, United Kingdom, United States
Start Year2013
Sub-CategoryA project related to ICT

FACTS & FIGURES

  • Pedius Work Inclusion costs from US$30 Euro per month
  • Pedius supports 45 people with a hearing impairment

PROBLEMS TARGETED

Phones are inaccessible by nature and interpreters require a specialized workforce for Deaf communication.

SOLUTION, INNOVATION, AND IMPACT

Deaf people or people with a hearing impairment use the Pedius app to make a phone call to any phone number. Users type or speak their message into their device and Pedius sends it to the contact they have chosen, using either the user’s own voice or an automated voice. The answer is translated into writing in real time.

Pedius’ software uses a combination of technologies that makes even more complex conversations possible, such as those held in a professional environment. Pedius can also be easily integrated into most existing hardware, such as smartphones, tablets, and PCs supporting both Android and Apple systems. Each activated employee gets access to a personal number with unlimited incoming and outgoing calls, web access, availability for conference calls, a special notification system for incoming calls, and the possibility to request an interpreter.

The Pedius app was launched in 2013, and in 2020 has over 35,000 users in 13 countries and offers seven languages. Via the telecommunications provider TIM Italia, the Pedius Work Inclusion services have been activated throughout Italy.

A person holds a tablet computer in her hands. On the screen is written ‘conference call’ and the conversation is about to start. There is a touch keyboard at the lower part of the tablet.

A Pedius user is about to participate in a conference call.

FUNDING, OUTLOOK AND TRANSFERABILITY

Pedius uses two models to generate revenues. Private customers can download the Pedius app for free and receive 20 minutes of free conversation per month. Premium subscriptions are offered for more minutes. For companies, Pedius offers the Pedius Work Inclusion service for US$30 per month. This includes subtitled conference call capabilities and unlimited incoming and outgoing calls. Discounts are available depending on the number of licences to be activated per company.

Pedius is dedicated to expanding to more countries soon.

FACTSHEET

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