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DT to be premium partner of Special Olympics World Games 2023

Deutsche Telekom will be a premium partner of the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023. The world games for people with intellectual disabilities will take place in Germany’s capital from June 17-25. Over 7,000 athletes will compete across 26 different sports in Berlin and competitors will also join people without intellectual disabilities on the same team in Unified Sports, making the world games a huge celebration of inclusion. The objective of the Special Olympics is to give people with intellectual disabilities more self-confidence through sport and to ensure they receive greater recognition and, ultimately, are able to participate more in society.

“Deutsche Telekom believes that everybody should be able to participate in social life,” explains Michael Hagspihl, Deutsche Telekom’s Head of Strategic Marketing Partnerships and Sustainability. “We have included inclusion in our Guiding Principles and we take it seriously! Sport helps people come together which is why we support sport for people with intellectual disabilities. This not only helps us to strengthen team spirit and creativity; it also reinforces mutual respect and understanding!”

“Social responsibility and social commitment are part of our DNA,” adds Birgit Bohle, Chief Human Resources Officer and Labor Director at Deutsche Telekom. “We demonstrate our dedication to diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect in society with numerous measures.” The commitment with regard to the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 is therefore a “matter of vital importance” to Deutsche Telekom, explains the top manager. Deutsche Telekom will provide energetic support at the games and make various contributions – such as being involved in the volunteer program. “Employees from across Germany will support the organization of the games as volunteers and, in return, will be released from normal work,” explains Birgit Bohle.

Deutsche Telekom as part of a unique team
Deutsche Telekom’s commitment also includes participation in the German media alliance for the World Games. “Inclusion is an elementary part of our #goodmagenta activities – so it goes without saying that we joined the TV alliance to broadcast the competitions,” says Michael Hagspihl. In order to do more advertising for a greater participation of people with mental and multiple disabilities and for a greater community in our society, the largest electronic sports reporting media companies in Germany are joining together to form a solidary team. “We are happy to be part of this unique team. Together we are working intensively to find new ways to sustainably support the World Games and the Special Olympics movement with their great social importance.”

Not only that, Deutsche Telekom will also support the games with telecommunications services. For instance, the Group will provide symmetrical fiber-optic gigabit internet lines at the various event locations across Berlin. The organizing committee will also be provided with a cloud-based telephone system consisting of 100 lines and the same number of end devices. Several thousand mobile lines will also be provided for the duration of the games.

“The Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 is an opportunity to create encounters and connections between people with and without intellectual disabilities in a unique manner. And communication is key here. We are therefore delighted to have Deutsche Telekom on board as a strong partner. We will work together to improve inclusion and coexistence in our society and eliminate barriers when it comes to communication. The motto ‘together we are unbeatable’ also applies here,” says Sven Albrecht, CEO of the Organizing Committee for the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 and Managing Director of Special Olympics Deutschland.

Live video chats in sign language
Deutsche Telekom considers enabling digital participation and accessibility to be a core issue – not just for people with disabilities but for all people who are currently disadvantaged when it comes to participating in the digital world. Deutsche Telekom already offers its employees and customers many offerings to ensure accessibility. For example, deaf and hearing-impaired customers who call the hotline can communicate with advisors in sign language via a live video chat.

With over 7.5 percent of its workforce either disabled or with an equivalent status, Deutsche Telekom is far above the average in Germany. “Deutsche Telekom is diverse. Our Group success is only possible thanks to the various strengths and abilities of our diverse workforce,” emphasizes Birgit Bohle. The Group invests large amounts of money each year to individually adapt the workstations and work environments of employees with disabilities and design them to be barrier-free.

Deutsche Telekom also makes sure that digitalization doesn’t create any additional barriers but that everybody is able to benefit from the advantages that the digital world has to offer. For this to be possible, access to fast networks and affordable, barrier-free offerings as well as the ability and motivation to confidently use digital media are essential. This is also emphasized by Michael Hagspihl: “Everybody must be able to use the digital offerings. To achieve this, we invest several billions of euros in the build-out of our fiber-optic and 5G mobile communications networks and develop accessible offerings. Our aspiration is to ensure that, in time, all of our products and services are accessible to everyone.”

CT Bureau

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