Safaricom’s Innovative Partnership with Signs Media: Breaking Barriers for the Deaf Community

Aiming to foster inclusivity and accessibility in a pioneering move, Safaricom partners with Signs Media to introducing the assistALL mini app within its widely-used M-PESA App. This groundbreaking collaboration empowers Kenyans who have hearing impairments by providing them on-demand sign language interpretation services: a significant stride towards equal access for all. The primary objective of the assistALL Mini App? It’s eliminating communication barriers; ensuring individuals—deaf or hard of hearing—gain equal opportunities’ access – an innovative tool driving equity forward.

Integrating the groundbreaking assistALL Mini App into the M-PESA platform—no small feat: it offers seamless sign language interpretation services. This revolutionary integration, predicted to redefine how individuals with hearing impairments navigate digital terrain–dismantles obstacles that have previously impeded their participation in diverse social and economic activities.

Peter Ndegwa, the CEO of Safaricom, emphatically emphasized his company’s commitment to utilizing technology for inclusivity. “We firmly believe at Safaricom in technology’s power to dismantle barriers and promote inclusion and accessibility,” he articulated; “This partnership stands as a significant stride towards our overarching mission: making technology universally accessible while fostering an inclusive society.” Safaricom integrates assistALL into the M-PESA App to ensure all users, regardless of their abilities, access the benefits of digital services.

The collaboration’s impact, however, transcends mere accessibility: it harbors the potential to foster economic opportunities for registered sign language interpreters. By utilizing the assistALL Mini App—interpreters can proffer their services; this action not only catalyzes job creation but also facilitates economic empowerment within the deaf community. Not only does this bolster interpreter livelihoods, but it also fortifies Kenya’s overall socio-economic fabric.

The assistALL mini app’s wide-ranging scope spans sectors: healthcare; judicial facilities; government services, finance and transport. This diversity guarantees access to critical services for individuals with hearing impairments–a transformational enhancement of their daily lives–-significantly improving the overall quality of life.

Expressing his enthusiasm for the collaboration, Luke Muleka – Founder and Managing Director of Signs Media Kenya Limited – communicates: “We launched the assistALL app in 2022; our vision was to enable participation by Kenya’s deaf community in social-economic development not only locally but also globally. Partnering with Safaricom allows us a unique opportunity to enhance accessibility specifically for Kenyans through integration into the M-PESA App.”

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