Dialog Axiata Joins GSMA Assistive Tech Programme to Drive Digital Inclusion for All Sri Lankans

January 11, 2022         Colombo


Dialog Axiata Joins GSMA Assistive Tech Programme to Drive Digital Inclusion for All Sri Lankans

Reiterating its commitment to enabling greater digital inclusion for all Sri Lankans, regardless of their level of ability, Dialog Axiata PLC joined the GSMA Assistive Tech Programme to drive greater access and use of mobile technologies for persons with disabilities and maximise opportunities for social and economic inclusion.

With access to assistive technology becoming increasingly important to enable people to live independently and participate in all aspects of life, Dialog remains committed to leveraging technology to address the digital inclusion gap through innovation. Most notable among these are initiatives such as the Ratmalana Audiology Centre and Jaffna Speech Therapy Centre, which act as Centres of Excellence for hearing and speech issues. Their services are provided free of charge, qualifying low-income members of the public, as well as the students of the Ceylon Schools for the Deaf. Another initiative, ‘Petralex’, is a trilingual app enabling hearing screening tests and providing users with hearing impairments to use their regular wired or Bluetooth headset as a discreet, customised hearing enhancement device.

Commenting, Supun Weerasinghe, Group Chief Executive of Dialog Axiata PLC said, “We signed up to these Principles of digital inclusion for more than one reason. Stemming from our core services, we have focused on Hearing, Sight and Speech, for well over a decade, and have made great strides toward not just digital inclusion but digitally enabling persons with disabilities. We have worked with the GSMA for many years on inclusion-oriented projects and have great trust in its industry leadership and convening power. Therefore, we are confident that the Assistive Tech Programme and its Principles, with the GSMA behind them, will guide us as an organisation and as an industry towards effective action for better inclusion of persons with disabilities in society”.

Welcoming Dialog’s steps in joining the initiative, Claire Sibthorpe, Head of Connected Women and Connected Society, GSMA stated, “Removing the barriers faced by persons with disabilities requires informed action from all stakeholders. It’s time for the mobile industry to take steps to ensure our products and services are accessible, unlocking the power of connectivity so that all people thrive. I am delighted that Dialog Axiata PLC, Optus, Orange Group, Safaricom PLC, Telefónica Group, Turkcell, Vodacom South Africa and Zain Group have already signed up to the Principles, and I look forward to many more industry participants joining us in this commitment.”

GSMA Assistive Tech Programme aims to drive greater digital inclusion for persons with disabilities and launched its ‘Principles’ setting out a framework for action for the mobile-industry, together with recommended activities, to help address the barriers that currently prevent persons with disabilities from accessing and using mobile-enabled products and services.