21

CRTC: Canadians with hearing or speech impairments can text 911 during an emergency


Here’s a step in the right direction for the mobile industry in Canada. Based on successful trial in Vancouver, Toronto, Peel Region and Montreal, the CRTC announced today that those with hearing or speech impairments will soon be able to text 911 during their emergencies.

The CRTC has informed the carriers to upgrade their networks to support this feature by January 24, 2014. Canadians with hearing or speech impairments will have to register their device with their carrier, then “in the event of an emergency, they must first dial 911, and the emergency call centre will automatically receive notification to initiate a conversation by text message.”

Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC, said “This initiative is a perfect example of how technology can be used to improve access to 911 services for Canadians with disabilities. I would like to thank those who participated in last year’s trial. Its success convinced us that expanding the initiative across the country is not only possible, but also in the public interest.”

On another note, the CRTC is also considering making this service available to all Canadians. They recently announced a public consultation that asked Canadians for feedback of how GPS and texting will shape the future of 911 services. The formal review will not be happening until sometime in 2014-2015.

Source: CRTC

  • Matt

    lol help me plz i am on fire

    • Huawei4Real

      Will this also help those that are mentally challenged/impaired? The Samtards could really use such a system.

    • Edmuntun Alburta

      Edmuntun rulz!

  • Luc

    Definitely should be rolled out to everyone.. I could easily think of situation where it would be safer to txt for help then call.. ie home invasions etc, a txt can be sent in complete silence while hiding in a a closet for example..

    • skullan

      I bet you if someone sends a text during a non-emergency, they will be forced to pay a penalty or the pay-per-use text cost, whatever the greater of the two are.

      By 2014, it will likely be the text.

  • anona

    A step in the right direction for sure! Go Canada!

  • skullan

    I’d suggest the title be changed to:

    “CRTC: Canadians with hearing or speech impairments will be able to text 911 during an emergency”

    Right now, it looks like they are able to.

  • Miknitro

    Hot damn, that’s hotter then the braille accents on my drivers door power mirror control.

  • Dave

    Wow! Finally … Your tax dollars at work …
    CRTC is going to helps Canadians.
    What’s about that 700 MHz spectrum CRTC? Are you going to save
    its for the Robelus or what?

  • G -man

    So, what’s with the iPhone?
    You could be deaf, blind, and in an emergency and you still wouldn’t use one of those…

    #BB10Believe

  • Bizznitch

    This is a start, but the phone companies have a long ways to go. I’m hearing impaired and I use 0.00 minutes of voice every month, yet I have to pay $30 for it, because I need texting. Yet, when I contact Telus about it, they say “You can have a data plan, and texting will cost you $0.60 per text. We cannot offer texting without a voice plan”. This is downright discriminatory. In the US, the carriers such as T-Mobile offer this option I believe.

    • Hamid

      i’m so glad you said that. i was so curious about what you would do with your call features if you’re hearing impaired. don’t they have pay per minute plans with unlimited texting? wind has a 20 cents/minute plan with a $5 add-on for unlimited texting.

    • JimSillyballs

      Yea that’s not right. I’m guessing the reason they don’t have such a plan is that man people that are not hearing impaired would want to switch to a data and text only plan as well bc like you many don’t see the need for a voice plan. It’s a shame. Our telcos are just one big pos.

    • SV650

      Texting (SMS) uses the voice network, thus the need for a voice plan. Even corporate plans have a minimum voice charge + a per minute charge in their cheapest incarnations. Possibly a clear presentation of your situation to Telus might garner you access to a package with a minimum voice charge with included texting & an add-on data package.

  • bunty

    Sort of on topic but something to keep in mind if this rolls out to all Canadians, I recently read a news article stating that the CRTC is also looking to revise/significantly increase the penalties for 911 misuse which applies to everyone.

  • Max

    Hmh. Brilliant idea. Lets all just hope it never gets put to use by all those with hearing and speech impediments.

  • mike

    Does this mean that everyone can text message while driving if its an emergency to text 911.

  • Sam

    The CRTC IS THE MOST USELES PAPER LION IN CANADA when it comes to doing something for the public. Latest example was the new law requiring broadcaster to lower commercial volume to that of the program you’re watching. The broadcasters aren’t following the law and the CRTC does NOTHING. I write CRTC to complain and they tell me to complain to broadcasters. They are a complete joke and corporate Canada knows it and ignores them.

  • ghostintheshell

    911 help! Rogers is robbing me!

  • skazzberry

    The only people with hearing impairment are the ones who work at the CRTC.

    • CRTC

      Come say that to our FACE

Trending News

Other Articles