Innovative thinking makes Uma’s day!

Innovative thinking makes Uma’s day!

  • Bunbury
  • Community
  • Published: 4 November 2019

Southern Ports’ Data Entry Officer Uma Orsi has been an important member of the Bunbury team for more than seven years.

Highly regarded by her colleagues as a fantastic team player, Uma is the first to put her hand up to help out across the business and help others. She most recently demonstrated this by donning some high-vis gear and enthusiastically participating as one of our ‘models’ in the Annual Report photoshoot. Uma is also deaf.

Not one to let it slow her down, Uma takes her lack of hearing in her stride and together with the support of colleagues has found ways to work around the issue. However, one barrier that has proven difficult to overcome, has been Uma’s participation in staff meetings or audio based presentations. While colleagues have done their best to include her by writing notes or transcribing what has been said, it was clear that Uma was still missing a fair amount of the content.

Several of Uma’s workmates have raised the issue with IT in the hopes of finding a technical solution to the problem. Charged with actioning their request, IT Support Officer Allen Trigg, found an innovative way to help Uma be more involved in the staff meetings.

“The team in Bunbury were concerned that Uma was missing out on a lot of content in the meetings. Some research led to the selection of a low cost boundary microphone and a website called webcaptioner that can automatically translate the spoken word into written text on a computer,” said Allen.

Testing the device in a team meeting proved the idea was a success when speaking at a normal volume and speed – even from across the room.

“The results were amazing and Uma’s reaction was incredible. All the staff are over the moon that Uma can now be included just that little bit more,” said Allen.

Awesome work team and a big congratulations to Allen for actioning the team’s concerns and thinking outside the box!