Safaricom makes M-PESA accessible for visually impaired persons

Persons living with visual impairment/blindness can now access M-PESA messages independently in braille format and conduct financial transactions with confidentiality.

This follows the introduction into the market of DOT Braille Watch, a partnership between Safaricom and DOT incorporation.

The Dot Braille Watch is an innovation that is an equivalent of a smart gear that displays SMS notifications in braille hence enabling a visually impaired person to read.

“We are committed to the empowerment of persons with disability by facilitating the availability and affordability of assistive devices and technologies in line with our mission to transform lives. This partnership with DOT incorporation will make life easier for our visually impaired and blind customers through innovation,” said Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, Chief Officer, Financial Services at Safaricom.

The device will display SMS messages in a braille format and has time and alarm functions in braille. It will be available on the Masoko e-commerce platform and Safaricom retail shops.

Safaricom has doubled its efforts in creating an enabling environment for the blind and visually impaired, through call optimization where the special trained call agents can directly receive call queries from this group of people.

Last year, Safaricom introduced the Interactive Voice Response (IVR), an M-PESA solution that would enable the visually impaired and blind customers to be in control of their M-PESA transactions.

Safaricom has also launched  nationwide initiative in order to help boost the registration of the blind and the low vision persons in Kenya by the Kenya Union of the blind (KUB).

To further enhance this, Safaricom will provide a donation of Ksh.5million inclusive of 400 mobility canes towards supporting the 1.5million visually impaired and blind Kenyans.

It will also work towards eliminating stigma and discrimination associated with blindness and visual impairment through awareness creation.

“Our goal is to ensure that all the blind and visually impaired individuals in this country have access to white canes that can then make them live and work independently thus foster their dignity and freedom. That is why we are calling upon them to register with the Kenya Union of the blind so that we can create a database and facilitate the provision of mobility canes for them”, said Paul Kasimu, Chief Human Resource Officer at Safaricom.

To facilitate this the blind and Visually Impaired in Nairobi and its environs can visit Kenya Union of the Blind house in Embakasi or visit the KUB website- and register. People in other counties can register with the regional offices of the National Council for Persons with Disabilities in Kenya or send a text with their names to 071444339.


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