VFS Global, the world’s largest visa outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide, has launched its first sign language contact centre for people of determination in India. Through this initiative, VFS Global aims to bridge the communication gap for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community, empowering them to access visa service information more easily and independently.
Launched on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, this innovative service not only underscores VFS Global’s steadfast commitment to foster an inclusive environment but also highlights the company’s dedication to ensuring that all customers have equal access to their services, as part of its Diversity Equity and Inclusion programme of the Sustainability Strategy.
The sign language contact centre provides information for visa services to Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland (including Finland Residence Permit), Germany, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland as part of the first phase of this project’s implementation plan.
How to access the sign language contact centre:
Step 1 – Visit www.vfsglobal.com
Step 2 – Click on the ‘Contact Us’ button on the top right corner of the home page
Step 3 – Select the source and destination countries by using the dropdowns and click ‘Go’
Step 4 – Click on the ‘Call Sign Language’ widget
Prabuddha Sen, Chief Operating Officer – South Asia, VFS Global, said, “After the MENA region, we are truly excited to bring this solution to visa applicants in India as well, making information on our services and processes more accessible to all. Technology has been at the core of VFS Global’s journey since inception and this innovation, which will aid in fueling an accessible and equitable world, is a step ahead in delivering inclusive and enhanced customer experience. While this service is being launched for 16 destination countries in the first phase, with more destinations to be added gradually in phases.”
VFS Global also offers visa service information in the sign language in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for 24 missions – Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and Ukraine. This service is accessible for applicants in seven countries in the region – Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
The organisation has consistently enhanced the informational services on its website to ensure ease of access to information for applicants worldwide, regardless of their language or geographical location. The organisation’s Information Services support operations globally through 59 contact centres, offering relevant information in 52 languages and maintaining 1,670 websites in 57 languages. In 2018, VFS Global introduced its chatbot Viva to provide quick and seamless automated responses to applicants in 175 countries.