Can’t help but congratulate the CRTC on this move. It’s been announced that a 3-month trial will begin soon that will allow those with hearing and speech impairments to reach the 911 call centre via text message. In total there’s a limited amount of “pre-registered participants” in Vancouver, Toronto, Peel Region and Montreal. It’ll be interesting to see how the trial goes, if successful the CRTC will roll the service out nationwide. There’s no specific details of how the program will operate, but you can bet they’ll be dependant on the GPS.
Leonard Katz, the CRTC’s Acting Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Telecommunications, said “This text messaging trial is one of several initiatives that the CRTC is exploring to improve the accessibility of communications services for the hearing and speech impaired. This trial will give us the technical and operational information we need before making a final decision on whether to expand the program nationwide.”
In 2009 the CRTC mandated wireless companies to “offer at least one type of cellphone to serve the needs of people who are blind and/or have moderate-to-severe mobility or cognitive disabilities”. It’s great to see more features in testing, but regardless of how the trial goes the service should be offered.