South African Mobile Telecommunications Accessibility Survey 2015

As South Africans who are living with disabilities, we find that we are sidelined as customers especially by the mobile networks.

 

The mobile networks, especially, are not necessarily interested in hearing what we’ve got to say.  They only try to conform to the minimum requirements enforced, (if ever) by ICASA.  I’m specifically thinking of MTN, who told me that they (know what they are doing, thank you very much); and that was more than five years ago.

 

Vodacom has a special needs helpdesk but, I, in particular, had a very bad experience with them and thus, I’m not a customer of theirs.

 

We should not be limited to a particular network just because they have a special needs desk.

 

The other networks have a lot to offer and they can actually provide the special needs assistance, if they really want to, without breaking the bank.

 

In 2013, we wanted to get your input on the accessibility for persons living with disabilities of the mobile networks in South Africa.

 

Many of you completed the survey.  Thank you.

 

I’ve engaged with Telkom Mobile and provided them with the statistics of the survey but, I haven’t received any feedback from them yet.

 

 

Just over 2 years later, I’ve decided to ask you for your input once again.

 

Please Click here to complete the survey.

 

It should not take you longer than 20 minutes but, depending on how much you have to add, it may just take a bit longer than that.

 

Should you require any assistance, you can contact us during office hours on 0127533663 and we will try to assist.  Alternatively, you can email us at admin@AccessTech.co.za.

 

Let’s try and use this platform to enable us to provide solutions suggestions to the mobile providers in addressing our needs as persons living with disabilities.

South African Banking Accessibility Survey for blind and visually impaired persons

If you are living in South Africa and live with a visual impairment, you are no doubt one of those who might have received terrible service from your bank.

 

Or, just perhaps they might have amazed you with their accessibility of their products and/or services.

 

You may also recall the difficulty that I’ve had with FNB in the past and ABSA who joined them in ignoring our calls for action on fixing the inaccessibility of their services.  If you haven’t read those articles, let me just say that their attitude stinks and that FNB still dismissed my request for dialogue even though I have approached them as the representative of Blind SA, a national consumer organization of and for the blind.

 

Either way, we have finally launched the South African Banking Survey that you can now complete.

 

The purpose of this survey is to gain a greater understanding of the service needs of people with visual impairment who are making use of products and/or services provided by banks in South Africa.

 

We are seeking people who are blind or visually impaired (or their caregivers), who are willing to complete a few questions.

 

If you want to be contacted for assistance to complete the survey, please let us know on Facebook or on Twitter.  Optionally, please phone us on 0127533663.

 

Thank you to Unlocking Abilities (PTY) Ltd. for hosting the survey.

Is your airtime vanishing into the void?

Have you ever loaded airtime just to find that 10 minutes later, you’ve got almost nothing left?

 

Or worse, have you received that dreaded cellphone bill at the end of the month and found a mysterious R1200.00 charge for some (quote of the day) or some junk content that you have never subscribed to? Continue reading Is your airtime vanishing into the void?

Three years later: FNB and inaccessibility to blind and visually impaired customers

The below is an email response on a mailing list where the topic of FNB seems to be quite hot at present.

 

There are some members who want to keep it quiet as they would like to keep it internal but, as another poster pointed out:

 

“We have a right to our independence and it is up to us to claim that right.
I agree that the fact that one receives an SMS later to confirm a transaction, is just not good enough; nor is the fact that one immediately might get back one’s card. The person at the shop could easily write down one’s PIN for later use the next time you unsuspectingly rock up at the shop. Besides, this lack of assertiveness would only further create the impression that we are happy to acquiesce in the development of inaccessible facilities and would find ourselves having to rely on the eyes of others more and more. Instead of trying to get workarounds, we should strongly oppose things like inaccessible POS, online banking, SARS eFiling, prepaid meters, unmarked hotel key cards, etc. These developers have got away with it precisely because we have not opposed those developments vigorously enough and have been satisfied with the consolation prizes of confirmation SMSes after the fact and the eyes of others.

Blind SA has an Advocacy and Information committee which is currently grappling with all the matters I mentioned above. FNB’s attitude is shocking, to say the least, but if necessary, we will take them to the SAHRC or even the Constitutional Court. Continue reading Three years later: FNB and inaccessibility to blind and visually impaired customers