South African network provider, Vodacom announced on Monday, 30 September 2019, that it has launched the Vodacom 112 Emergency Service App that enables persons with communication barriers (Deaf, hard of hearing, speech impaired, hearing impaired, deafblind) an opportunity 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.
To get the service, deaf users need only download the Vodacom 112 Emergency Service App from the Google Playstore and Apple iStore and register their mobile number.
“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 at Specific Needs.
The introduction of this Emergency App service comes on 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” adds Smit. “We will continue to launch accessible products that offer solutions to those that need them most.”
Edited by Jenna Cook
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