Supporting People with Disabilities Across Our Factories

Dell Technologies is honored to be recognized with Gartner’s 2021 Power of the Profession People Breakthrough of the Year award.

At Dell Technologies, we believe everyone has unique strengths and skills to contribute in the workplace. We strive to create an environment that is inclusive, accessible and inspiring, and I am proud that our efforts were recently recognized with Gartner’s Power of the Profession™ People Breakthrough of the Year award.

The award celebrates a talent initiative we have implemented to foster diversity, develop transformational capabilities and create value for the business. We received this award in recognition for our People with Disabilities Global Inclusion Project, which creates and implements new assistive solutions to support people with disabilities across our factories. The project was pioneered for our factory in Brazil, where 20% of the total manufacturing workforce are people with disabilities.

Through projects like this, we are providing accessibility to our team members by removing physical, social, cultural, and systemic barriers, to ensure people with disabilities have the same work conditions and opportunities as those without.

In partnership with LEAD*, the following assistive technology solutions have been deployed in our Brazil factory. We look forward to expanding these technologies to our other factories around the world.

  • STEVE is an exoskeleton which operates as a motorized wheelchair, capable of leading users with lower limb disabilities to their workstation on an assembly line. Once positioned, STEVE (the name of the machine) lifts and holds the user upright in a safe and comfortable position.
  • Augmented Reality Training Arcade is an augmented reality (AR) training platform for team members with hearing loss. Its main application is projected through AR glasses, assisting in hardware assembly in a gamified way, and teaching our team members how to build complete devices.
  • Mobile Aware Intermodal Assistant is an audio testing application used by team members with hearing loss. It converts sounds into images, transforming laptop speaker test sounds into visual stimuli displayed on a screen.

In addition to these technologies, we improved accessibility in our Brazil factory by implementing inclusivity-oriented training and sign language courses and added braille on all signage throughout the factory.

Creating viable work solutions for team members with disabilities within the factory is an excellent example of how we are using technology to drive human progress. In partnership with LEAD, we hope to influence others to adopt similar best practices.

* LEAD is a partnership with Dell’s Research, Development and Innovation Center and several educational institutions from the state of Ceará, Brazil to create and implement assistive solutions for people with disabilities across the factory. The LEAD team consists of multidisciplinary professionals who value diversity and inclusion and work in the research and development of solutions in various fields. Throughout its history, LEAD has taken part in the research and development of technology solutions with the aim of contributing to the growth of society and aligns with Dell Technologies purpose of promoting the potential of people through technology.

POWER OF THE PROFESSION is registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates and are used with permission. All rights reserved. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s Research & Advisory organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

About the Author: Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown is a global supply chain executive with three decades of leadership in operations, technology, and procurement. Throughout his professional career he has focused on strategic and transformative initiatives, innovations and partnerships to increase efficiencies, savings, and effectiveness. As executive vice president of Global Operations and Chief Supply Chain Officer for Dell Technologies, a Fortune 50 corporation, Kevin leads an organization of approximately 7700 team members in 23 countries and a procurement budget of $67 billion. During his two decades at Dell, Kevin has occupied leadership positions in several of Dell’s business units, including Chief Procurement Officer, and earlier positions setting up lean manufacturing organizations in the U.S and Malaysia. Before Dell, he spent 10 years in the shipbuilding industry, working on U.S. Department of Defense projects. He earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an M.S. in Engineering Management from George Washington University. Kevin was selected as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations where he serves on the National Committee. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and a member of the Executive Leadership Council.