Envision named 2017 Innovations & Enterprise Award Winner

October 20, 2017
The following article was published in the October 20 issue of the Wichita Business Journal:

For sighted people, tasks like logging onto a computer, entering information into a spreadsheet and printing labels are easy. But for those with vision loss, those simple tasks can be challenging. 

Leaders at Envision are constantly listening to what employees have to say and trying to find innovative solutions to enhance the work environment so employees with visual impairments can work. 

“We constantly strive for upward mobility at Envision that allows people who are blind or visually impaired to progress in their careers, pursue training and seek out opportunities in advanced positions,” says Barney Macari, general manager of manufacturing at Envision Industries. “Innovation and technology are helping us with the goal of making a greater number of job positions in diverse fields accessible to people with vision loss.”

Employees with vision loss use text-to-speech programs, such as JAWS, that provide audio description of what is being displayed on the computer screen. But on a noisy manufacturing floor, it’s difficult to hear another person, or a computer screen reader, speak over the roar of the machines.

The solution was the purchase of Nano Spot speakers that are made locally by Galaxy Audio, a Wichita company located three blocks away from Envision’s Water Street campus. Just one 10-inch by 4-inch speaker securely mounted at each manufacturing workstation is capable of cutting through noise in the environment so employees can clearly hear. 

Another innovation, biometric fingerprint readers, provides an easy and secure way for employees to quickly log onto their computers.

“The fingerprint readers help employees be independent with computers and believe in their own abilities,” Macari says. 

Robert Duckworth, a machine operator at Envision, says, “Electronic fingerprint readers have helped me and many other Envision employees be independent with computers.”

According to Macari, this award showcases Envision’s employment-centered focus and puts even more attention on its mission. ”

— Julie Conner

Latest news