Vodacom launches phone for visually-impaired, elderly

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Vodacom has introduced the Alcatel 2019G phone series, which comes standard with a large keypad and simple user interface with big icons, ideal for those with low vision as well as the elderly.

The company says with the launch, Vodacom is committing to building an accessible and inclusive digital society using technology that is relevant to everyone.

The Alcatel 2019G, which retails at R649, comes standard with a dedicated charging dock, SOS emergency function, torch, lock and unlock key, 16 hours talk time, 2MP rear camera as well as a wireless FM radio that users can enjoy without a headphone.

Karen Smit, Vodacom principal specialist for specific needs, explains: “Some of our senior citizens have been consistent in their feedback to us – they prefer a device with a large keypad.

“In line with our purpose pillar of creating an inclusive digital society, the introduction of the Alcatel 2019 series helps us make sure no one is left behind. As we move into the digital age, we want to make sure all segments of our market migrate into this new digital world.”

Vodacom says as part of its continued commitment to connecting the most vulnerable citizens and removing barriers for all, it is also offering text-based channels for deaf, hearing-impaired, speech-impaired and deaf-blind customers to access emergency services.

“The Vodacom 112 Emergency Service App allows users to contact the ER24 Emergency Contact Centre such as police, ambulance, fire and sea rescue for themselves or for others by simply downloading the app from their respective app stores.

“The Vodacom SMS Emergency Service allows registered customers to request emergency services by sending an SMS with the word ‘Help’ to 082 112, along with information relating to the emergency.”

Furthermore, Vodacom says to ensure all people with communication barriers on its network have access to emergency service information, it has included the emergency services for people with communications barriers link on Vodacom’s zero-rated ConnectU platform.

“A key strategy to Vodacom’s Specific Needs department is ensuring each and every customer with a communication barrier experiences excellent customer service through all our channels, including social media platforms,” says Vodacom.

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