We think our Vodafone help videos are a great way to learn more about our latest phones, which is why we want even more people to be able to enjoy them...

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Choosing a phone or mobile plan is often a big decision, so we’re always trying to find new ways to help you get the advice you need. The videos on the Vodafone UK YouTube channel are a great source of information on all the latest phone news and support, which is why we’ve decided to introduce a small change that makes a big difference.

As of April, every new help video we make will be fully subtitled so that anyone who’s hearing impaired can still get all the information they need to choose a phone and get it up and running. And it’s an additional support feature that’s been driven by one of the people we hope will benefit from it. Read on for the full story.

Crystal clear

According to Action On Hearing Loss, as of 2011 there were more than 10 million people in the UK with some form of hearing loss – that’s one in six of the population. At Vodafone we’ve already got a strong focus on accessibility, and adding subtitles – accessed via the ‘captions’ option on YouTube – to every new help video on the Vodafone UK YouTube channel will only help that cause.

It’s a change that’ll help our customers who are hearing impaired to get the most from the Vodafone Tech Team’s useful tips, advice and hands-ons with the latest phones, and it’s a first for a UK network.

We’ve been speaking to Vodafone’s Blaise Persaud – who is profoundly deaf herself – to explain how and why this change came about, and what it means for people with hearing difficulties…

“I know how frustrating it can be when you want to watch a video, only to find out it does not have subtitles.”

“During my time in the Vodafone innovation team, I was encouraged by my manager to work on projects that I’m interested in,” Blaise explains. “I was encouraged to find any problems in the business and look at possible solutions. As I am profoundly deaf I decided to look into issues that may affect me and also other deaf people – I know how frustrating it can be when you want to watch a video, only to find out it does not have subtitles.

“Vodafone’s YouTube videos are an amazing source of information and I thought it would be useful if they were subtitled so that more people can access them.

“There are many things online that deaf people cannot access and use. We can’t just search for any video on YouTube, for instance – we have to search for the ones that have subtitles or are in sign language. And there aren’t very many considering how many videos are on YouTube.

“There’s so much information available nowadays, and with the constant developments in technology, people are using more innovative ways to communicate with each other and share information such as making videos. These methods are great, but when you are part of the minority that can’t access them it can be disheartening. Vodafone making steps to include more people is great and hopefully this will inspire even more changes.”

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Blaise says that, because of these difficulties, it’s hugely important for Vodafone to help out wherever possible:

“I think that all companies should take more responsibility for improving their levels of accessibility. A lack of accessibility is often not intended; it’s just a lack of understanding. I was born deaf and I know from personal experience that it can be a constant battle just to access and understand the same things as everyone else. It would be amazing to have more big companies in our corner,” Blaise adds, “helping us and ensuring that their services are accessible to everyone. If you’re a great company like Vodafone, then everyone should be able to know what it is you’re providing.”

 

blog video thumbAccess for all
If you have difficulties with hearing, vision or movement, we can help you find a phone or service that’s perfect for you, as well as provide some useful mobile tips and tricks.
Click here for more information

 

You can check out our new Vodafone help videos here. If you are hearing impaired, have restricted vision or have limited dexterity, our dedicated team can help find the right phones and services to make life easier. To get started email disability.access@vodafone.co.uk, call 33222 from a Vodafone mobile, or 08700 733 222 from any other phone, or click the link above.

More to come… We’re going to be looking at the subject of accessibility and mobile again over the coming weeks and months, so stay tuned for more information.