Why Accessibility Matters to One of Canada's Biggest Companies
Education and Advocacy Companies are embracing more accessible services and tech. We spoke to Bell Canada about why, how, and what steps they've taken.
Bell is committed to serving all Canadians. Mediaplanet spoke with Denise Franc, a supervisor with Bell Canada's Accessibility Services Centre, about the company's range of accessible products and services.
Mediaplanet: What does accessibility mean?
Denise Franc: For me, accessibility means ensuring that people are not excluded from accessing or using a product or service due to their disability. It means making sure that basic barriers are removed or reduced so that individuals with disabilities have the ability to access and benefit from products, services, assistive devices, and environments designed with their needs in mind.
MP: Why is accessibility something more companies should be aware of and embrace?
DF: In the past, customers with accessibility needs did not have many choices in regard to products and services available to them. However, companies have recognized the need for change so that customers with disabilities are able to complete daily tasks independently or with very little help. When companies offer additional services or products geared to accessibility customers, it means they are listening and making changes — and that’s important.
When companies offer additional services or products geared to accessibility customers, it means they are listening and making changes... and that's important.
MP: How has offering accessibility products and services impacted the quality of life for Canadians who benefit from them?
DF: Bell offers many products and services that allow for customers to lead independent lives by assisting them with completing daily tasks that otherwise they wouldn’t be able to. The Tecla and Doro 824 are great examples. The Tecla allows someone with limited upper body movement to control his or her smartphone through an assistive switch while the Doro 824 mobile device is great for seniors and visually-impaired customers. Its simple interface and large icons make it easy to use and navigate.
MP: Why is accessibility important to Bell?
DF: Above all, Bell makes customer service a priority. In the last two years, we have invested in improving our processes and tools to make sure that customer feedback is addressed and the customer experience is improved. We recognize that all customers are important and work to ensure that all customers are able to access our products and services.
MP: Where can consumers go to find more information on accessibility?
DF: For more information on accessible products and services, visit the Bell Accessibility Services website or call them at 1-866-310-BELL (2355). We also work closely with the Canadian Council of the Blind, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, the Get Together with Technology program, Spinal Cord Injury Ontario, and the Canadian Hearing Society.
MP: What accessibility products and services does Bell Mobility offer?
DF: At Bell we are very proud of the services, products and support we offer accessibility customers.
Just a few of these include:
- A dedicated Accessibility Services Call Centre
- Complimentary 2 GB data add-on
- Free directory assistance
- Bill credits on Doro devices
- Free, mobile-accessible app for Android users
- Alternate bill formats such as e-text, audio, braille, and large print
- $200 discount on the Tecla Shield