Advancing Disability Inclusion at Lowe’s Through Innovation
To better serve customers and our associates who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, Lowe’s has created an American Sign Language (ASL) tools and resources, including an app with Talk-to-Text capabilities to facilitate open and seamless communication.
Lowe’s strives to be an employer of choice by creating a workplace that brings out the best in their associates, customers, and the communities they serve. This begins with fostering an inclusive and compassionate culture that embraces, respects and values people of all backgrounds and abilities. By fully integrating these principles in their day-to-day operations, they increase associate engagement, better address customers’ needs, and provide the personalized shopping experience customers expect.
The company believes that to effectively serve customers, it must first meet the needs of its associates. Lowe’s wants associates to feel comfortable while working and proudly display their work accomplishments and abilities, and they believe that this starts with what they wear on the job.
One program that will help create a positive business impact for associates and customers at Lowe’s is the launch of their American Sign Language (ASL) tools and resources. Earlier this year, Lowe’s offered special custom-designed American Sign Language vests and polo shirts, badges, pins and more to support their Deaf and Hard of Hearing customers and associates. The tool kit included:
American Sign Language (ASL) vests and polo shirts that display Lowe’s in ASL with “Please tap me on the shoulder if you need assistance.”
“I Know Sign Language” badges
“Please face me to communicate” pins
These tools provide awareness to customers and other associates that they may use ASL language or communicate differently. Additionally, Lowe’s added small white boards, Boogie Boards, and a new app with Talk-to-Text capabilities to Lowe’s-provided mobile devices to effectively communicate. Lowe’s also created a specific training to better educate the unique needs of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. The Talk-to-Text app may also be used by hearing associates who need to interact and provide great customer service to Deaf and Hard of Hearing customers who may be shopping at their stores.
Lowe’s was also recognized this year with the “2022 Marketplace Innovator of the Year Award” for its program Lowe’s Livable Home, dedicated to providing total solutions to disabled and elderly homeowners and associates. The program offers a toll-free number that provides information for customers on what products exist to make their homes safer and more accessible, such as chair lifts, wheelchair ramps, walk-in baths, and other items. It also offers product providers and installation services for a true one-stop shopping experience. In addition, the Lowe’s Livable Home program works closely with our Business Resource Group to better target needs of the community and provide resources for both customers and associates.
Lowe’s works to foster an inclusive culture that unlocks the potential of each associate and encourages them to showcase their talents by supporting customers and their communities. They believe that when Lowe’s is successful, their associates, customers and shareholders should be too. It is important that each associate feels welcomed and engaged, and that their talents are utilized to the best of their abilities. Even as the business landscape changes, their commitment to excellence, engagement and inclusion remains.
September is National Deaf Awareness Month, and as part of this, September 23rd is International Day of Sign Languages. Join us alongside Lowe’s to celebrate the linguistic identity and cultural diversity of Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities to raise awareness about the unique issues faced by this resilient community.