Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace: Appen Hires Over 50 Persons With Disabilities (PWDs)

For over 20 years, Appen has equipped the freelance community with flexible work opportunities all around the world. This global community of talent provides high-quality data that improves services in technology, automotive, government, retail, healthcare, and finance. As part of its mission to promote diversity, respect, and communication in the workforce, Appen is proud to announce the onboarding of over 50 persons with disabilities (PWDs.) Image annotation services train machine learning algorithms to mimic human thought. These algorithms are crucial for computer vision systems which enable self-driving vehicles to see and understand the environment around them. Preparing the data that trains these algorithms requires a human touch. In order to maintain quality, a human worker uses computer software to label different parts of an image set. These workers are called image annotators. A successful image annotator is able to concentrate on the visual details of a photograph or video. The Appen recruiting team recognized an opportunity to offer image annotation work to a community of disabled workers. These persons with disabilities, or PWDs, can find it difficult to apply for opportunities in a traditional workplace. Darwin A. described how work at Appen allows him to support his family:
I’ve been looking for a job for 18 years and have been discriminated against a lot. I am thankful that Appen gave me a chance… What a great gift to me and my family. —Darwin A., Appen Annotator
Michael T. is thankful for the respect he feels as a member of the workforce:
I have fears of discrimination due to my disability; this is the only company I applied for who put an end to my fears and respected me for who I am. —Michael T., Appen Annotator
Darwin and Michael are two of over 50 PWDs who have found work at Appen Services Philippines since recruiting efforts began in the fall. Many are deaf or hard of hearing, and others have orthopedic or social disabilities. For some, this is their first job. Training includes sessions taught in sign language, and sensitivity courses for workers already engaged in the project. In addition, recruiters are working to educate local businesses about interacting respectfully with PWDs. Kay G. of Appen recruitment notes the positive impact diversity has on the workplace:
It has been a wonderful learning experience for all as we completed training and we look forward to expanding it further with additional activities to fully support our new colleagues. —Kay G., Appen Recruiting
By championing diversity, Appen has seen continued success with projects that include PWDs in their recruiting efforts. The team is excited to promote values of diversity, respect, and communication to clients in industries across the world. Update: Appen’s ongoing initiative to provide work opportunities for persons with disabilities has grown include a community of over 100 PWDs. Stay up to date on the progress of Appen’s corporate responsibility programs by following the blog at   If you enjoyed reading our article about Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace: Appen Hires Over 50 Persons With Disabilities (PWDs), visit to see our available opportunities.
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