Prague, 25 February 2019 – In September 2018, T-Mobile became the first mobile operator in the Czech Republic to launch an info line for deaf and hearing-impaired persons. The service enables customers to read real-time written transcriptions of the operator’s communication directly on T-Mobile’s website. Deaf and hearing-impaired customers are thus given the certainty that they will always fully understand what the operator is communicating to them. Since its launch, the service has already been used by more than 260 customers.
Real-time word-for-word transcription of the called person’s speech
According to the Czech Union of the Deaf, there are approximately 15,000 deaf persons living in the Czech Republic. Another roughly 100,000 people are severely hearing-impaired or deafened. Real-time word-for-word transcription of the called person’s speech gives these people the ability to make full-fledged phone calls and thus have access to all necessary information. The service is suitable for persons who can themselves speak but need to have the other person’s speech conveyed in written form. It can also be used by foreigners with partial knowledge of Czech. The online simultaneous speech transcription is provided by a professional team of sister social enterprises, Transkript online and TextCom, which employ mainly blind high-speed typists as transcribers.
The Czech Union of the Deaf provides speech transcription for people with hearing impairment as a field social service throughout the Czech Republic. The Union was the first in the Czech Republic to start offering simultaneous transcription and is the largest provider of the onsite form of this service. The possibility of contacting the operator’s customer line that supports word-for-word speech transcription is rated very positively by the president of the Union, Martin Novák: “We very much appreciate the expansion of onsite transcription with the possibility of online transcription. This makes the lives of our clients much easier. It is an inspiring example of valuable partner cooperation between the Union, two commercial social enterprises – Transkript online and TextCom – and an operator. Together we thus break down barriers and facilitate access for our clients, persons with severe hearing impairments, to the same products and services as people without impaired hearing have.”
How communication with the operator works
The service works very simply: In the Contacts section of T-Mobile’s website, the customer will find a link to the “Info line for Hearing-Impaired Persons”, where they will enter their phone number and press the “Call Me” button. A window for transcription will then appear on the website and the system will automatically call the customer. The customer will just wait for the transcriber’s written instruction that the customer can start talking. This instruction will appear in the window for transcription, where the customer can read the info line operator’s speech that is being simultaneously transcribed throughout the call. Once the customer starts speaking, the phone call is conducted in the usual manner.
The eScribeDroid application facilitates personal communication
For personal telephone communication, customers can use the eScribeDroid mobile application, which is available for free download in Google Play. In addition to speech transcription while calling, it offers additional free services:
About the Czech Union of the Deaf
The Czech Union of the Deaf (Česká unie neslyšících, z. ú. – registered institution, CUN) was established on 17 July 1990. CUN’s mission is to help people with hearing and combined disabilities in such a way that effectively and adequately corresponds to the difficult life situation in which they can find themselves as a result of their disability. The Union is engaged in educational, training and stimulating activities, facilitates clients’ contact with the social environment, organises socially therapeutic activities and helps clients in exercising their rights and arranging their personal affairs. It also offers one-on-one consultations with a key employee, group activities, such as courses in computer skills, English courses, workouts for moms with children and for senior citizens, Hearing-Impaired Moms Club (Klub neslyšících maminek), lectures, and excursions and field trips. It also provides to its clients interpreting into/from sign language and simultaneous speech transcription. Since 1992, it has published the UNIE magazine. The services are intended for persons with hearing disabilities or combined disabilities and their families, including children without age limits.
The founder of the registered institution Czech Union of the Deaf is the Czech-Moravian Union of the Deaf, registered association (Českomoravská unie neslyšících z.s.).
T-Mobile Czech Republic, a member of the international telecommunications group Deutsche Telekom, is with its more than 6.2 million customers the number-one operator in the Czech market. T-Mobile is an integrated operator: in addition to converged telecommunications services, it offers TV and comprehensive ICT solutions. It provides outstanding services in the high-speed network, which was proved repeatedly by benchmark testing performed by umlaut (former P3) with Best-in-Test seal.
T-Mobile Czech Republic places emphasis on taking a responsible approach to the environment and society. It adheres to fair business practices, helps beneficial applications and services to see the light of day, supports non-profit organizations, small businesses and individuals, and lends a helping hand whenever crisis situations arise. The company’s employees serve as volunteers in many places across the entire Czech Republic.
More information about the company is available at www.t-mobile.cz, www.t-press.cz (the portal for journalists), www.t-mobile.cz/pomahame (information on the company’s CSR activities) and www.rozjezdy.cz (T-Mobile Takeoffs of the Year – a program to support small businesses).
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