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SMS emergency service for the deaf
June 2018, This Week's Editor's Pick, News

Vodacom has announced the launch of South Africa’s first SMS emergency service for deaf, hearing and speech impaired customers. The Vodacom 082 112 SMS Emergency Service is free and exclusively provided for Vodacom Prepaid, Contract and Top Up customers who are deaf, hearing and speech impaired.

The service addresses a serious need that currently exists in the market. Previously deaf and hearing impaired persons were unable to contact an emergency service centre as it could only be accessed via voice calls.

The new Vodacom 082 112 SMS Emergency Service now provides deaf and hearing impaired customers with the option to request emergency services such as police, fire and ambulance services by sending an SMS to 082 112. In order to use this new service, customers need only register their details by sending an SMS to 082 112.

Karen Smit, Vodacom principal specialist for specific needs, says that this is a first for South Africa and the continent. “We are confident that this initiative will assist in promoting the ability to communicate for deaf and hearing-impaired customers through digital inclusion as they can now request help should they experience an emergency situation.”

Another innovation is the HearZA app which was developed in partnership with the University of Pretoria. HearZA is a smartphone-based national hearing test app. The app helps with early detection of hearing problems which is essential in mitigating possible hearing losses. Vodacom further meets the needs of deaf and hearing impaired customers by providing them with special contract phone deals that consist of data and SMS, without minutes.

For more information, go to http://www.vodacom.co.za/vodacom/services/specific-needs


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