Deutsche Telekom wants to make it easier for people with disabilities to have access to the knowledge and information society. Not only do we offer subsidized rates to people from low-income households, we also offer them to people with hearing and vision impairments. We also support them with products and solutions especially designed to meet their needs.
Services for the hearing impaired
We set up a hotline (Deaf Hotline) for deaf and hearing-impaired customers in 2003. Up to 50 people currently call the hotline every day to get help with connections to their DSL routers or to find out more about special cell-phone rate plans, for example. The employees of the Deaf Hotline are equipped with live consultant workplaces that have HD cameras, among other things. Customers and live consultants can see each other using a video-based live chat and can communicate with each other in sign language. Since 2017 the Deaf Hotline has also explicitly offered the option of making appointments with technicians.
For deaf customers and members of the German association for the deaf, Deutscher Gehörlosen-Bund e.V., we operate a special online distribution site (www.telekom.de/deaf). There we offer a discounted mobile communications and fixed-line portfolio that is tailored to the exact needs of deaf people. Customers can order their desired plans directly on the website, can contact the employees of the Deaf Hotline or be forwarded to the new information exchange platform DEAF-Café in the Telekom Hilft community. The DEAF-Café provides a safe space to discuss or clarify questions about telecom offers together with other deaf people in groups and forums.
Engagement for hearing impaired people in Slovakia
About 1% of the population in Slovakia is hearing impaired, and Slovak Telekom is very active in developing comprehensive programs and activities to support them in ordinary everyday living situations. We also help families with hearing-impaired children to master their everyday lives. Another aim is to raise public awareness about the challenges they face.
Since 2015, Slovak Telekom has hosted a community portal where parents with hearing-impaired children can communicate with each other and find out important information. This portal supports hearing parents with hearing-impaired children in showing them how to properly stimulate and develop their children. In 2017, a lot of new content was added to the portal which was visited by thousands of individual visitors. A community of hundreds of returning visitors has started to form.
As a carrier, we provide significant support for the hearing impaired and offer them an advantageous mobile data package. In 2017, Telekom began to offer a preferential “Mobile Internet L” plan with a discount of more than 95 percent. In order to be eligible for the Mobile Internet L program for the deaf, the customer needs to be recognized as hearing impaired by the relevant Labor, Social Affairs and Family Office.
Since 2013, Telekom has also been offering a special mobile plan for hearing-impaired people that includes unlimited SMS and 2GB of internet data on the mobile phone, along with 20 free minutes to all networks at a price of € 12 per month.