Pakistani cellular company, Ufone 4G and ConnectHear, a social enterprise aiming to enable and empower persons with disabilities, have collaborated to improve accessibility for the deaf community to enhance their socioeconomic integration. Amir Pasha, Group Director PR, Media, CSR and Corporate Communication, PTCL & Ufone 4G, and Arhum Ishtiaq, Co-founder/CTO ConnectHear signed the agreement here in Islamabad.
Ufone 4G, being a responsible corporate citizen, has been leveraging its technological expertise to promote equal access to social and economic opportunities, while ConnectHear, established in 2017, provides means of independent communication and information in sign language. Through its partnership with ConnectHear, Ufone 4G will provide free data access to ConnectHear’s digital app that provides instant and remote access to sign language interpreters to help the deaf community communicate. Equipped with Ufone 4G’s reliable and speedy data connection, the people with hearing impairment will be able to communicate with ease and access no matter wherever they are in the country.
Commenting on the development, Amir Pasha Group Director PR, Media, CSR and Corporate Communication, PTCL & Ufone 4G said, “More than 6 percent of the Pakistani population is differently-abled that needs to be integrated into the country’s socioeconomic ecosystem. We are proud to collaborate with ConnectHear to enable the deaf community to communicate and socialize. The initiative perfectly resonates with Ufone 4G’s brand philosophy of inclusivity, under which we strive to foster equality and shared growth because, we at Ufone 4G strongly believe, it is all about U!”
In addition to free data access, Ufone 4G will also introduce special data packages, offering more MBs and text messages instead of calls as the deaf community generally uses video calls as a primary source of communication. Furthermore, ConnectHear will sensitize and teach basic sign language to Ufone 4G staff at respective franchises and service centers to help them effectively communicate with the deaf community.
“ConnectHear is thrilled to partner with Ufone to take our mission of creating an inclusive and accessible society one step further,” said Azima Dhanjee, CEO of ConnectHear, “This collaboration will allow us to create more awareness about sign language interpretation and gives us the opportunity to reach more people. The individuals with hearing impairment form a large talent pool that should be included in the process of nation building through special initiatives for their enablement.”
Ufone 4G and ConnectHear will also educate the Deaf community about UPaisa and its services through special awareness sessions and videos in sign language, in a bid to empower the community with financial independence. It is noteworthy that Ufone 4G is the first and only organization to collaborate with ConnectHear for social empowerment of the deaf community, setting a right precedent in society.