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June 17, 2003

ICASA calls for telecoms equipment for disabled

From: ITWeb, South Africa - Jun 17, 2003


[Johannesburg, 17 June 2003 ] - The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has called on inventors and suppliers of products that allow disabled people access to telecommunications equipment to apply to the regulator in order to approve the equipment.

Requests for approval can be submitted to ICASA's Special Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities.

Dianne Ngoasheng, ICASA's senior manager for consumer protection, says the committee's mandate is to prepare the groundwork to make recommendations to ICASA on how the communications sector should meet the needs of disabled people.

“The internal committee has been established but will soon be expanded to include representatives from the cellular networks, the SABC, eTV, Telkom, those involved in the bid for a second national operator as well as representatives from manufacturers of telecommunications equipment and organisations representing people with disabilities.”

Ngoasheng says the committee is contacting the various stakeholders and a meeting would be scheduled within the next month or so to meet with them.

ICASA's frequency spectrum department is assisting the special advisory committee to encourage the innovation of user-friendly and accessible telecommunications equipment for people with disabilities to be submitted for type approval.

Praneel Ruplal, manager of type approval and licensing, says all telecommunications equipment requires type approval for safety, performance and electro magnetic compatibility.

ICASA has already approved cochlear telephone adaptors, a device connected to a telephone that allows cochlear implant patients to use the handset.

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