Vodacom intros emergency app for the deaf

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 01 Oct 2019

Vodacom has unveiled an app that enables deaf and hearing-impaired persons to contact emergency services when they need help. The app is exclusively available to Vodacom customers.

This comes after the mobile operator last year introduced an SMS emergency service for deaf, hearing- and speech-impaired customers.

Dubbed the “Vodacom 112 Emergency Service App”, the free application enables deaf users to contact the ER24 emergency contact centre 24 hours, 365 days a year.

Vodacom says users can request emergency services such as fire, police, sea rescue, traffic and ambulance.

Karen Smit, Vodacom's principal specialist for specific needs, says: “As an organisation that aims to include all members of society through our different product suites, we realised 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.”

Smit adds it became evident to the company that it 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.

“We will continue to launch accessible products that offer solutions to those that need them most.”

The app is available for download from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Once downloaded, users can register their mobile number for the service.