OTTAWA, Dec. 1, 2016 /CNW/ - The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) and its wireless carrier members, in partnership with public safety agencies across the country and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), observe the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3 with the marking of the national availability of Text with 9-1-1 (T9-1-1) service for Canada's Deaf, Deafened, Hard of Hearing and Speech Impaired (DHHSI) community.
T9-1-1 provides 9-1-1 call centres with the ability to converse via text messaging with a DHHSI person during an emergency. When a DHHSI person requires 9-1-1 services, they dial 9-1-1 on their cell phone. There is no need for a caller to speak or hear, as the 9-1-1 call taker should receive an indicator that advises them to communicate with the caller via text messaging. The 9-1-1 call taker then initiates text messaging with the caller to address the emergency.
The service, which began rolling out in March 2014, is now available to the vast majority of Canadians, including in many parts of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, and province-wide in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan. Some 9-1-1 call centres are still making the necessary upgrades to their systems and will launch the T9-1-1 service in the coming months.
"All Canadians should have the same access to safety services across the country," said the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities. "This is why I am very pleased to see the launch of nationwide availability of Text with 9-1-1 service for Canada's deaf, deafened, hard of hearing and speech impaired community. This is a great step in breaking down another barrier for persons with disabilities and to improve inclusivity and accessibility in Canada."
T9-1-1 is only available to those in the DHHSI community. A DHHSI person must first register for T9-1-1 with their wireless service provider and must have an eligible cell phone before being able to utilize this service. All information about T9-1-1, including registration details and areas of service availability, can be found at www.TextWith911.ca.
"Canada's wireless industry is extremely proud of the role its technology continues to play in keeping all Canadians safe," said CWTA Chair Garry Fitzgerald. "I encourage all members of the DHHSI community to register for this unique, made-in-Canada and potentially lifesaving service."
Please note that voice calling remains the only way to communicate with 9-1-1 services for a person that is not deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or with speech impairment. Text messages sent directly to the digits "9-1-1" do not reach emergency services.
Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association
The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) is the authority on wireless issues, developments and trends in Canada. It represents wireless service providers as well as companies that develop and produce products and services for the industry, including handset and equipment manufacturers, content and application creators and business-to-business service providers.
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SOURCE Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association
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