Mar 15, 2022 – Continuing its mission of digital inclusion, dtac today launches a series of initiatives for persons with disabilities, so that more people can access the benefits of the digital world. Under the concept of Go Beyond (Dis) abilities into possibilities together, dtac collaborates with the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities and the National Association of the Deaf in Thailand (NADT), to roll out data packages, trainings, and support services that help ensure more equal access to digital connectivity. Watch the Online video Go Beyond (Dis) abilities into possibilities together
dtac’s first initiative involves thoughtfully designed mobile packages for persons with disabilities and their caregivers. Based on dtac insights, hearing impaired users rely heavily on the internet and data plans to connect with others, be it through video calls, messaging applications, or social media platforms. These new packages are aimed at better serving their needs at affordable price points. For instance, customers who purchase the 99 baht pack receive 4G of data, while the 249 baht pack provides unlimited data at a speed of 4 Mbps. In addition, dtac also extends a 15% discount for dtac dSurance.
For its second initiative, dtac Net for Living (ดีแทค เน็ตทำกิน) has partnered with the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities – part of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security – to conduct digital upskilling training for 21 occupational groups and some vocational rehabilitation centres for persons with disabilities nationwide. With this digital upskilling, participants are projected to earn approximately 15% more income and enhance their opportunities and quality of life.
dtac’s the third initiative, launching today, is its first sign-language call centre for the hearing impaired community by the hearing impaired community. dtac customers who face difficulties in using network services and products can easily make LINE VDO calls to our agents who fluently use sign language to address queries and provide proper assistance. This call centre is also a public-service information centre for emergency numbers and hotline services, regardless of which operator they use. The call centre operates Monday to Sunday from 9:00 to 17:00.
This call centre is a collaboration with the National Association of the Deaf in Thailand. The association recruited capable and passionate talent from the deaf community while dtac provided call centre agent training as well as set up a fully-functioning call centre system.
Saranpat Anumatrajkj, Director-General of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Welfare and Human Security, said that over two million people in Thailand have physical challenges. One-fifth live with some form of hearing loss. Meaningful collaboration between public and private sectors can help make society more inclusive for persons with disabilities.
“Digital inclusion can present an important opportunity for people with disabilities. Digital services can improve access to education, financial services, skills development, and employment. These initiatives by dtac are aligned with our mission to promote the equal rights and welfare of people with disabilities,” said Ms. Saranpat.
Sharad Mehrotra, CEO of Total Access Communication Plc or dtac, said “We realise our role in providing digital access to those living with disabilities, in order to improve their livelihood and promote freedom of expression. This is in line with the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. We believe that dtac can create business growth along with fostering a sustainable, inclusive society through our connectivity services. With this in mind, we’ve been working proactively to achieve our digital inclusion mission since 2015.”
According to a UN report titled Leveraging Digital Technologies for Social Inclusion (2021), one in five people across the world has a disability. Persons with disabilities are more likely to face difficulties in accessing digital technology, and have less access to economic opportunities as a result. In Thailand, the digital divide is quite significant for persons with disabilities: half are over the age of 60 and 81% have only a primary education.
Withayoot Bunnag, President of the National Association of the Deaf in Thailand, said, “It’s very encouraging to see a company like dtac proactively taking steps to ensure that customers with deafness and hearing loss are not financially disadvantaged and are able to access phone packages better suited to their needs. The digital upskilling programme will also empower us to have a better quality of life and be more self-reliant. And the newly established sign-language call centre means a lot to us as well, unlocking digital opportunities for marginalised people and allowing us to live with confidence in society.”