We started the Junkie Awards with one very clear mission in mind: to shine a spotlight on individuals and companies within the e-commerce industry who go above and beyond the call to make positive contributions to the world of online shopping. While cool promotions and new resources are important and deserve coverage here on Ecommerce Junkie, we reserve our monthly award series for those that really dazzle us in creative ways.
While we’ve had a diverse number of winners already in the award’s brief history and continue to receive outstanding nominations from all over, our September Junkie winner, eBay, is perhaps the best example to date of what exemplifies the spirit of these awards.
eBay is earning the September Junkie award as a result of expanding access to its features and services to blind Americans, an initiative it launched last month jointly with the National Federation of the Blind and one we reported on here.
eBay added enhancements to its site as part of the program, primarily a feature that lets people bid, sell and buy auction items using just their keyboards. Blind users can also now navigate throughout the site’s content with the help of assistive technology and screen access software.
With nearly seventy percent of all blind individuals in this country either unemployed or underemployed, eBay embarked on the project, in part, to help tackle the problem and provide more opportunities to them. The enhancements not only give the blind community a gateway to eBay’s 92 million users and 200 million live listings, but also a chance to generate some real income as well.
“We have great respect for the advocacy role the NFB plays in creating employment opportunities for the blind,” said John Donahoe, president and CEO of eBay at the time. “eBay has built a reputation as a driver of job creation by helping entrepreneurs start up and grow their businesses. We are excited about connecting with an even wider audience through this partnership and providing blind Americans with easier access to our marketplace for both buying and selling.”
In addition to the site upgrades, eBay also developed a number of support programs as part of the partnership including providing seed money for promising blind entrepreneurs, recruiting members of the blind community as eBay Trainers to teach other blind individuals how to sell on eBay and the creation of a National Federation for the Blind ecommerce store using the eBay platform.
We applaud eBay’s creative and selfless initiative with the National Federation of the Blind and congratulate the company for being given the September Junkie award. As always, leave us your thoughts and comments!
Previous Junkie Winners:
August 2010: Andrew Cuomo/State of New York
July 2010: Rep. Paul Hodes
June 2010: ACLU
May 2010: Zappos/6pm.com
April 2010: BadCustomer.com