Amazon India introduces Aurora; strengthens employment opportunities for people with disabilities

Amazon India pic

Amazon India announces the launch of Aurora, a programme specially curated for individuals with disabilities to provide them with meaningful and sustained employment opportunities. This programme is also in alignment with Amazon India’s continuous effort to build a diverse workforce.

The announcement comes after an effective pilot program in which Amazon India collaborated with Sol’s ARC, a non-profit based in Mumbai that provides vocational training for cohorts of people with autism and intellectual disabilities, to utilize the talent of a group of young adults working at the company’s delivery stations in Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, and Chennai. At our fulfillment center, sortation center, and delivery station area, we currently employ over 35 associates. This year, Amazon India wants to hire a large number of additional people with learning disabilities.

“At Amazon, we are passionate about creating a diverse workforce to reflect our customer base and ensure we tap into their diverse perspectives. We strongly believe that diversity in the workplace helps create a better, more inclusive environment and we are invested to create opportunities for the underrepresented cohorts. With the introduction of Amazon’s new leadership principle “Strive to be the Earth’s Best Employer”, we have further strengthened our efforts to build a culture that is welcoming and inclusive, enabling our employees to have a sense of belonging, value, and opportunity. ‘Aurora’ is yet another initiative towards creating a truly inclusive and equitable workplace for people with learning disabilities”, said Liju Thomas, Director – HR Operations, Amazon India during on the launch of the program.

Khushi Thakkar, an employee with a learning disability joined Amazon’s pilot program with Sol’s Arc at the company’s delivery station in Mumbai. She expressed her thoughts about the programme and said, “I never thought that I would be a part of a workplace,” which has increased her confidence and social skills. I’m learning how to scan and sort customer orders at Amazon. I am also picking up new skills at work with the help of my coworkers and seniors. My parents and my instructors at Sol’s Arc are really proud of me, and I couldn’t be happier!”

Amazon’s Aurora program will prioritize creating foundational elements and support systems, such as raising employee awareness and motivating staff to be allies to individuals with learning disabilities, in addition to hiring talent with learning disabilities. Increased training sessions will be provided to current employees in order to raise their awareness of and increase their sensitivity towards this cohort. Amazon India will also learn about any current global practices and adapt them as needed to suit the needs of Indian employees. Associates will participate in listening sessions to better understand their feedback, and the appropriate interventions will be made to promote a positive experience.

Employees at Amazon are able to come up with creative solutions to problems that affect both customers and society at large because of the company’s inclusive and diverse culture. Apart from its emphasis on individuals with learning disabilities, Amazon also manages a number of initiatives for diverse underrepresented groups, which include women, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and veterans of the armed forces. Through the Delivery Service Partner program, the company established the first “Silent Delivery Station” in January 2017 in Mumbai. People with hearing and speech impairments operate the station. Furthermore, Amazon has taken steps to provide opportunities in its operations sites for people with hearing impairments.

A small number of employees with speech and hearing impairments were the first in the pilot program to pack shipments at the Amazon fulfillment center back in 2017. Our operations network has now grown to include the entire nation in this initiative.

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