Text with 9-1-1 service is now widely available for those who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired (DHHSI) in Canadian communities.
9-1-1 call centres now have the ability to communicate via text with Canadians from the DHHSI community who have registered with their wireless service provider to access the service.
The CRTC is currently conducting a hearing to re-evaluate 9-1-1 services, which will provide all Canadians with the ability to send texts, photos or videos to their 9-1-1 operators. This service has now been extended across Canada, including in many locations in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, as well as province-wide in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan.
“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. This innovative service is also a step towards next-generation 9-1-1 services, which we are currently examining,” said Jean-Pierre Blais, chairman and CEO of the CRTC, in a statement.
It’s important to note that these services are not actually available to the general public yet. Currently, while the Text 9-1-1 service has been approved for cross-Canada deployment, voice calling is still the only way for the general public to contact the police.
A hearing will be held in January 2017 to examine “next generation 9-1-1 services.”
Image credit: Joseph Morris