Benefit for society and Vodafone – our answer

Mobile communication for the deaf and blind

Together with Delft University of Technology, the Vodafone Foundation conducted research into how we could connect deaf and blind people to our products more effectively. This revealed that many blind people like to use the iPhone as it can be operated using voice control. We developed a guide specifically for them explaining how to install the voice software and to help them learn how to operate the functions on the device. 

Based on the research we also developed a subscription for deaf people that includes a telephone equipped with special software from multimedia company AnnieS. Using this software it is possible for deaf people to chat, make video calls using sign language and to make voice calls, via an interpreter for example.

To make sure that we can also be of service online to people with a hearing or visual impairment, we have developed a separate website that is fully accessible to them:

Help! demonstration video

The Help! app for emergency situations

Last year we organised the Our Mobile Generation competition with the Enviu Foundation to gather innovative ideas. The Help! app emerged as the winner. Using this app you can call the emergency services in the event of an emergency and, at the same time, automatically send a message to people who are in the vicinity. Besides this message, these individuals also receive notification of the victim's exact location and tips on how they can help the victim while waiting for the emergency services to arrive. This can be crucial in the case of a heart attack, for example. In such cases resuscitation in the first six minutes can mean the difference between life and death. Often the emergency services are unable to reach the scene this quickly. The app is supported by the Orange Cross and has now been downloaded around 70,000 times.

Video program for rehabilitation centre

In collaboration with De Hoogstraat rehabilitation centre, Vodafone has developed a digital program which enables parents to follow their child's therapy and chat to their carers by means of a special video link. This was not previously possible. Using the new program they are able to monitor the therapy more easily from home or work, and can also involve other carers in this. Besides developing the digital program we also donated 15 iPads. 

Have you got a good idea?

Have you got a good idea relating to how mobile technology can make a contribution to the health and well-being of people in the Netherlands or developing countries? If so, we invite you to take part in the Mobiles for Good Challenge. This is running from 15 May to 31 August 2012.
You will find more information at

We are also organising the World of Difference campaign once again this year. Keep an eye on our website and follow this year's winners at Facebook.

World of Difference programme

We believe it is important that young professionals who want to make a difference to the world around them get the opportunity to do so. That's why we organise the World of Difference programme. Last year five young professionals won jobs at dance4life, Plan, SOS Kinderdorpen, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Cordaid. The Vodafone Foundation will pay for them to work for a year on their own project with these good causes. Mobile communication plays a role in all the projects. Jeppe Schilder, for example, is working on an app for dance4life to explain the risks of HIV/AIDS to young people.

Voluntary work by employees

Many of our employees are also keen to make a positive contribution to a good cause. We therefore give them the opportunity to spend one working day a year doing voluntary work. Vodafone has set up a volunteer programme specifically for them offering a wide range of voluntary activities. Last year our employees organised a special day to remember for children suffering from a long-term illness and we also arranged various days giving children in Amsterdam a chance to look behind the scenes at Vodafone. Together with the Hoogvliegers Foundation, our volunteers also made it possible for sick children to try their hand at being a pilot and take control of an aeroplane themselves.