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Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha oversaw the opening of the Thai Telecommunication Relay Service near the Government House yesterday. The opening was to celebrate the nationwide rollout of telephone booths for the hearing impaired. The booths allow Thais to make regular phone calls as well as file government complaints and make necessary emergency calls.
The new telephone booths are the same price as normal telephone booths, but allow for text messages to be sent using a specialized keyboard and calls to be made using sign language.
Sponsored by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, the booths will greatly help the hearing impaired and those with disabilities. The phones will require basic computer skills to be used.
In Thailand, there are 30,000 people that are hearing-impaired. The main concern with the new phone booths is that older Thais will not know how to use them properly. A lecturer at Thammasat University, Wiriya Namsiriphongphan, who is also visually impaired states that the government should allocate money to help in training Thais to use the new booths and basic computer skills.
The prime minister has promised that the request will be considered.
Currently, the new phone booths have been installed in 120 locations, with 150 booths being developed in total. Booths can be found nationwide at schools and near some police stations.