Telecom giant Ooredoo Maldives introduced a special postpaid plan for the deaf community in Maldives on Tuesday.
Titled 'Mashaa Eku', the new postpaid plan was launched by Maldives Deaf Association's Administrative Director Ahusan Abdul Rahman and Ooredoo's Assistant Manager Public Relations, Noora Ibrahim Zahir.
'Mashaa Eku' enables free video calls via Viber and WhatsApp in addition to existing benefits provided by Ooredoo's 'Eku' plans, in a move to support the main form of communication via internet in the deaf community. Noting that previously this entailed a higher data usage for the hearing impaired, Ooredoo declared that the new postpaid package is thus customised to suit their needs, while existing 'Eku Postpaid' plans offer the biggest data allowances in the market.
Moreover, Ooredoo established a dedicated Viber hotline (+960 9611929), available from 0830 - 1600 hrs from Sunday to Thursday, which allows customers from the deaf community to communicate via sign language with Ooredoo Customer Care, where 15 frontline staff have been trained in basic sign language in collaboration with Deaf Association.
“We strongly believe that as service providers, it is our duty to provide services that are accessible to all. The launch of Mashaa Eku plan and dedicated customer care support for the deaf community is huge step forward towards bridging the communication gap between the hearing people and the deaf community in our society. Ooredoo has always remained committed in enriching people’s lives and we reaffirm that our efforts will continue for greater inclusiveness”, said Noora Ibrahim Zahir of Ooredoo Maldives.
Deaf Association's Administrative Director Ahusan Abdul Rahman in turn thanked Ooredoo for "recognizing the needs of the deaf community and enabling more accessible services that can be enjoyed by the deaf people".
"It is our hope that more service providers follow the example and incorporate inclusiveness into their service in the future”, he added.
All registered members of the deaf community at the National Social and Protection Agency (NSPA) are eligible for the Ooredoo Mashaa Eku plan. Applications can be submitted through Maldives Deaf Association.