Text with 9-1-1 service is a very useful service for the differently abled who are either deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired (DHHSI) and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has lent its support for the service.
The CRTC is encouraging Canadians to help increase the awareness about this service within their communities. Though the service is not available across Canada, it is available in many parts of provinces including Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, and across the province in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan.
Under the service, when members of the DHHSI community are in need of emergency service, the 9-1-1 call centres now have the ability to communicate via text messages with Canadians who have registered with their wireless service provider to access the service.
Members of the DHHSI community may register for the service if their provider offers it in other regions, even if it is not available in their current region. So in case they are travelling to the region where this service is available, they can avail the required services. Emergency call centres are operated by municipal, provincial and territorial governments with CRTC acting as the regulating body for the telecommunications carriers.
The CRTC is currently conducting a proceeding to examine next-generation 9-1-1 services, which could provide all Canadians with the ability to send text messages, photos and videos to 9-1-1 operators. The CRTC will hold a public hearing starting on January 16, 2017, to examine next-generation 9-1-1 services.
“Text with 9-1-1 service enhances the safety of Canadians who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired. We strongly encourage all Canadians who are part of this community to register through their wireless service providers”, says Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman and CEO of the CRTC. “This innovative service is also a step towards next-generation 9-1-1 services, which we are currently examining.”