OTTAWA, Jan. 24, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) today announced its full support of the decision by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to move forward with the implementation of Text with 9-1-1 (T9-1-1) for the deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired (DHHSI) community.
The unique Canadian solution was developed by the CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee (CISC) Emergency Services Working Group (ESWG), comprised of members from Emergency Services, telecommunications service providers, vendors and other stakeholders, including CWTA. The T9-1-1 service was trialed with volunteers from the DHHSI community in the spring and summer of 2012 in Vancouver, Toronto, Peel Region and Montreal.
"CWTA and its members applaud all parties involved for their dedication to improving safety for Canada's DHHSI community," said CWTA President & CEO Bernard Lord. "Wireless service providers are always looking for ways to improve accessibility for Canadian consumers, and we look forward to continuing our partnerships with community, government and other stakeholders in deploying this revolutionary safety tool."
T9-1-1 provides 9-1-1 call centres with the ability to converse with a deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired person during an emergency, using text messaging. When a DHHSI person requires 9-1-1 services, they dial 9-1-1 on their cell phone. There is no need for them to speak, as the 9-1-1 call taker will receive an indicator that tells 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 will only be available to those in the DHHSI community who register their cell phones for the service through their wireless carrier. T9-1-1 will only be available in areas that have received the necessary wireless and 9-1-1 network upgrades. Availability of the service will be announced at a later date.
Voice calling remains the best and most effective way to communicate with 9-1-1 services for a person that is not deaf, hard of hearing or with speech impairment. Text messages sent to the digits "911" do not reach emergency services. Text with 9-1-1 for the public at large will be deployed after next generation 9-1-1 systems have been implemented.
Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA)
CWTA is the authority on wireless issues, developments and trends in Canada. It represents cellular, PCS, messaging, mobile radio, fixed wireless and mobile satellite carriers as well as companies that develop and produce products and services for the industry.
SOURCE: CANADIAN WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION
For further information:
613-233-4888 ext. 227