Johannesburg/Midrand, South Africa, Sept, 2019 -- As part of Deaf awareness month, Vodacom extended a helping hand through the launch of the Vodacom 112 Emergency Service App that enables persons with communication barriers (Deaf, hard of hearing, speech impaired, hearing impaired, deafblind) persons to contact emergency services when they need help.
Designed especially for persons who experience communication barriers, the free Emergency Service App enables deaf users to contact the ER24 emergency contact centre 24 hours, 365 days a year. Users can request emergency services such as fire, police, sea rescue, traffic and ambulance services which could assist to save their own lives, the lives of their loved ones and other people in need.
"As an organisation that aims to include all members of society through our different product suites, we realised that there’s a gap in the market. Most emergency services are predominantly accessible via voice calls. We recognised that this was a barrier for the deaf and hearing impaired market segments, hence the birth of this app". Says Karen Smit, Principal Specialist: Specific Needs.
The introduction of this Emergency App service comes at the back of an SMS Emergency Service that Vodacom launched a year ago. The app provides another channel for deaf and hearing impaired persons to contact emergency services from their mobile devices.
"As an organisation committed to ensuring that millions of South Africans are connected for a better future, it became evident that we needed to address the needs of those that are vulnerable. As a brand that believes in inclusion for all, Vodacom works hard to promote an inclusive digital society, regardless of age, income or disability" says Smit. "We will continue to launch accessible products that offer solutions to those that need them most" added Smit.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Vodacom is a leading African communications group providing mobile communications and related services to 41.3 million at 30 June 2009. Its mobile network covers a total population of approximately 182 million people across five countries: South Africa, Tanzania, the DRC, Lesotho and Mozambique. Vodacom's presence in Africa was strengthened with the acquisition of Gateway on 30 December 2008, which has customers in 40 countries in Africa, providing communications services to multi-national companies and telecommunications network operators. In addition, Vodafone has agreed to use Vodacom as its exclusive investment vehicle in sub- Saharan Africa.
Published: Thursday, October 3, 2019
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