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2022 Corporate Responsibility Report

Accessible products and services

Our contribution to the SDGs

We want to make it easier for people with disabilities to have access to the knowledge and information society. To that end, we offer them specially tailored services. Our national companies also strive to provide barrier-free access to their services. Further information is available in the respective country profiles.

Digital assistant for accessibility
The nora Notruf App img (nora emergency-call app), available in Germany since 2021, is a digital assistant which can determine the user’s precise location and trigger emergency calls at a tap. It is a boon for people who have speech or hearing impediments that make it difficult or impossible to make phone calls the usual way. The app, which Deutsche Telekom holds the patent for, is especially attractive by virtue of its versatility. In addition to simply alerting first responders (police, fire department, or paramedics), the user can also tap to identify the type of emergency involved, such as a crime in progress, accident, fire, severe illness, flooding, person in distress, or animal in distress. While people with speech or hearing impediments can report emergencies by using the Tess Relay services img or sending an emergency fax, those options can wind up wasting valuable time.

Services for the hearing impaired
In 2003, we set up a hotline (“Deaf Hotline”) for deaf and hearing-impaired customers. Every day, up to 50 people contact the hotline. Customers and consultants can see each other using a video-based live chat application and can communicate with each other in sign language. Also, we offer a chat service in which specially trained staff advise deaf and hearing-impaired persons in simplified language.

In addition, for hearing-impaired customers and members of the German association for hearing-impaired persons, Deutscher Gehörlosen-Bund e. V., we operate a special online sales site. There, we offer a discounted mobile-communications and fixed-line portfolio that is tailored to the exact needs of hearing-impaired persons. Via the website, customers can either book desired rates directly or contact our Deaf Hotline.

Since 2018, hearing-impaired people in Germany have had access to a 24-hour emergency call service with sign language interpreters for emergency situations. The service is jointly financed by the mandatory social security contribution paid by Deutsche Telekom to Germany’s Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency).

Our various national companies also offer services for hearing-impaired persons. T-Mobile Czech Republic, for example, working in cooperation with the social enterprise Transkript Online, offers in its shops both a deaf hotline and an online-transcription service (a speech-to-text service for interactions either in person or over the phone). T-Mobile Polska offers its customers a sign-language-interpreting service via its shops and customer-service operations.

Supporting users with simplified language
According to studies, 12 percent of people in Germany are not able to grasp complicated texts. In our endeavor to make it easier for them to access our products, we also offer some of our product information in simpler language. Also, our #TAKEPART stories, and a number of topic pages within this CR Report (under “experiencing sustainability” – “Nachhaltigkeit erleben”) are made available in simplified language.