Vodafone launches service line for people with hearing disabilities

GHANA: The service will enable people with hearing disabilities to have access to services provided by the network without any hindrances.

In line with the initiative, registered members of the Ghana National Association for the Deaf and close families will have the opportunity to use data that is highly subsidised and SMS bundle packages designed to help them communicate effectively by way of video and SMS applications.

A Deputy Minister of Communications, Mr Vincent Sowah Odotei, launched the service during which he stated that the plan by Vodafone to reach out to everyone in the country (as far as digitisation was concerned) was very laudable.

“It will enable people who are deaf to benefit from advances in technology and also feel a part of the country’s developmental process,” he said.

He assured Vodafone that the government would support the process and assist in extending it to people with hearing disabilities.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vodafone Ghana, Ms Yolanda Cuba, said the company was committed to being a leader in digital inclusion in the country.

“We will be the bridge that will take the country from semi-included to a totally included population. The government has already begun sending messages of inclusion and it is important that everyone gets involved despite age, race, religion or disability,” she added.

She said the new service would make it possible for people with hearing disabilities to satisfy their communication needs themselves, noting that: “No more will they be required to rely on family and friends for support in subscribing to offers or making simple enquiries. We are here to provide them with the power and confidence to take control of their lives no matter their circumstance.”

The Head of Fixed Business at Vodafone, Ms Patricia Obo-Nai, explained that the specialised customer centre had trained agents who would be able to communicate to people with hearing disabilities through digital means such as video services.

She said the speech and hearing impaired could dial the short code *494# and request for a customer care official who would call back to give them the service support they required.

She added that a customer with hearing disability could request for either a video or WhatsApp call, which would be returned by Vodafone for the customer to be assisted.

To help promote the initiative, 100 mobile phones were given out freely to people with hearing disabilities who wished to sign onto the service.

Source: Graphic Online

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