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Vodafone launched eScribe transcript for the deaf

04. December 2012

Vodafone is the first mobile operator in the Czech Republic to make communication for people with hearing disabilities, introducing the eScribe service in 12 selected stores, an online remote speech transcription service. Customers with hearing disabilities can now manage and arrange everything from cell phones to purchase to setting their SMS tariff without assistance. EScribe use is entirely free.

"The  eScribe service brings tremendous freedom in communication to the deaf and hard of hearing. Customers with hearing problems are no longer dependent on outside assistace during meetings. An accurate transcription of speech giving complete information in the range of services is very important," explains President of the Czech Union of the Deaf, Martin Novák. 

In the Czech Republic there are up to half a million people with hearing disabilities. Over 95% of whom do not use sign language, and before developing eScribe were reliant in the modern world of technology on shaky lip-reading or written communication on paper.

"The eScribe service works through a connection to a specialized transcription center where it converts speech into text through a web interface. A person with a hearing disability can see the text in real-time on the computer monitor," describes the principle Přemysl Filip, Senior Manager for Corporate Responsibility at Vodafone and adds: "Online speech transcription allows the deaf and salespeople a normal conversation full of questions and explanatory examples."

The development of eScribe was financially supported by the Vodafone Czech Republic Foundation to the tune of CZK four million in several phases. The service was founded on the campus of ČVUT and was taken into normal operation today by the social firm Transkript Online. Another goal is to create software for automatic speech recognition, which could in the future, replace the transcription center and also allow the use of transcriptions through mobile phones. Vodafone reminds people with hearing disabilities of its special tariff, where for CZK 100 including VAT they will receive 250 SMS. The price of one SMS above the limit is 0,8 CZK including VAT.

eScribe is available at the following Vodafone shops: 

Ostrava Nová Karolína, Jantarová 4

Ostrava Avion, Rudná 114

Praha, Národní třída 28

Plzeň, Náměstí Republiky 3

Liberec, Pražská 147

Ústí nad Labem, Mírové náměstí 207

Brno Olympia, U Dálnice 777

Brno, Masarykova 2

Pardubice, Náměstí Republiky 56

Prague Vinice, Vinohradská 167

Prague Palladium, Náměstí Republiky 1

České Budějovice, Přemysla Otakara II. 90