Vodafone and the RNZFB new partnership
From the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind
11 November 2004
For immediate distribution
Vodafone and the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind announce a new partnership
Vodafone New Zealand and the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB) have launched a social responsibility partnership designed to raise awareness of issues facing people with vision impairment and improve their access to mobile communications.
RNZFB Chief Executive Paula Daye said today it was the first time the organisation, established in 1890, had formed a partnership of this kind with a corporate in New Zealand.
"We are delighted that Vodafone has opened their doors to us across many different areas of their business, providing new opportunities for our members."
Vodafone Managing Director Tim Miles said the partnership would help the 1400 staff gain a better understanding of the issues facing blind people in our community.
"As a communications company Vodafone plays a key role in bringing people together. It's part of our global vision - to enrich people's lives and help individuals, businesses and communities be more connected to a mobile world."
Those who were visually impaired or blind were a part of the community often excluded from the mobile world, Miles said.
"Simple things like TXT, PXT, or using a mobile ‘address book' are things that are usually out of their reach. We want to use our technology to help the visually impaired to get the most out of their mobile communications."
Miles said he also wanted the partnership to reinforce the role that Vodafone could play in a broader social sense, and in fostering an environment of understanding and integration.
"As a large New Zealand employer, we also recognise that we are in a position to offer other opportunities to those who are visually impaired."
Vodafone recently introduced the partnership to staff by running an education programme, which involved presentations by RNZFB members, Talks Technology demonstrations and a "buddy" system which saw members paired up with Vodafone staff - including the Managing Director - for a day.
For more information: Bill Moore Head of Corporate Communications Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Ph 09 355 6867
Tracey Palmer External Communications Manager Vodafone Tel 021 628 129
About the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind The Royal NZ Foundation of the Blind is New Zealand's primary service provider of specialist services for blind, vision impaired and deafblind people.
Every year nearly 1500 New Zealanders either go blind or experience serious sight loss. The Foundation empowers its 11,500 members to create new beginnings using adaptive skills, technologies and resources.
About Vodafone Vodafone New Zealand Ltd is part of Vodafone Group Plc, the world's largest mobile community, with more than 139.2 million proportionate customers worldwide. The company has equity interests in 26 countries over five continents and Partner Networks in a further thirteen countries.
As at June 2004 Vodafone New Zealand has more than 1.675 million customers on its fully digital network providing coverage to 97 per cent of the population.