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Accessibility through innovation! Wireless Text T9-1-1 Messages

Posted by Henry Cheang | September 17, 2014 7:30 AM

One major issue

Until recently, contacting emergency services via telephone was not an easy task for those with hearing and speech issues. This is due to the clear communication barriers involved in the process. However, as of June 5, 2014, members of the deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or speech impaired (DHHSI) community living in Manitoba were given a solution to this issue. After registering their wireless devices, DHHSI members can use wireless text messages to contact emergency services using the Text with 9-1-1 service (T9-1-1).

One company recently announced their adoption of this service. Their goal is to increase the level of accessibility for their customers. In addition to the T9-1-1, Hearing Impaired customers can also benefit from a $15.00 discount on many of the company’s 4G Plans which is also applicable to the company’s Smartphone plans.

The customer should always be kept in mind and companies should do whatever possible to enhance their customer’s mobility and accessibility.

Those Affected In Canada

The Canadian Survey on Disability states that in 2012, there were over 3,775,000 individuals over the age of 15, with some form of physical or mental impairment living in Canada. Among these, there were over 874,500 people living with a hearing disability.

Based on the percentage of the Canadians over 15 in 2012, the amount of individuals living with some form of hearing impairment is just under 3% of the population.

Among Canadian’s living with a hearing disability:

  •          38,950 people are living in Manitoba
  •          116,210 are living in Quebec
  •          391,100 are living in Ontario.

Included in these statistics on hearing disabilities are individuals for which the severity of their condition can be classified using the following categories:

  •          Other
  •          Deaf
  •          Deafened
  •          Hard of hearing
  •          Some hearing loss

With such a high number of individuals who experience some form hearing loss. Taking steps to increase their accessibility should be done without giving it a second thought.  

How T9-1-1 works

First off, the T9-1-1 service is ONLY available to you if you are part of the DHHSI community since the traditional method of calling 9-1-1 is still the FASTEST way to communicate an emergency.

Text 9-1-1

In order to have access to the service, a DHHSI community member must register with their service provider and have a cell phone that is compatible. To check whether or not a phone is compatible with the T9-1-1 service, you can take a look at the TEXT with 9-1-1 FAQ page.

Once a call has been placed using the service, the 9-1-1 operator who is receiving the call gets an indicator letting them know to communicate with the caller through text messages. The operator will then address the caller’s emergency using texts.

After placing a call it is extremely important for the caller to confirm their geographic location with the 9-1-1 operator.

If you would like to learn more on how to make a call using the service, here are the detailed steps.

What to Include In a Text with 9-1-1 Message

Due to the time sensitive nature of many emergencies, it is very important to ensure that:

  •          Your text message is extremely clear and to the point
  •          You’ve indicated the location of the emergency and the nature of the incident
  •          Do not use slang to avoid any misunderstandings
  •          Do not use the service for any reasons other than emergencies

Closing Thoughts

By integrating innovative technologies into the lives of each and every Canadian, we can help ALL individuals live better and minimize the impacts of physical disabilities by offering alternative solutions to those afflicted. Although some innovations might be small and might not affect people on a daily basis, the positive impact of these innovations can go as far as saving lives as seen with the T9-1-1 service.

What other innovations do you think can be used to help others living with physical or mental impairments? What innovations can enrich and your life easier?

As mentioned above, we also believe at Cimpl that the implementation of technologies enables us to simplify our lives and make things that are extremely difficult for some much easier tasks.

If you are looking to cut inventory costs, eliminate bill shock, drive revenues and of course work smarter through the power of automation then the solution is Cimpl! Cimpl software allows you to more efficiently manage your IT and Telecom assets in your workplace. If this sounds like something that would make your life easier then you should contact us at Cimpl! As Canada’s leader in IT and telecom expense management we have been helping give companies greater visibility over all their IT and telecom assets for more than a decade now. Hear what our customers are saying or request a demo to see how Cimpl can help streamline your business today!

 

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Topics: Customer Story, BYOD, Customers, Accessibility

Written by Henry Cheang

Henry has a lifelong passion for science and technology. This enthusiasm is put to good use in a cutting-edge software company like Cimpl. As product marketer, Henry researches market and user needs to develop user and buyer personas, contributes to product design, and helps coordinate product messaging. Henry also writes nearly the entirety of all documentation for Cimpl’s many successful platforms. In his spare time, Henry devotes much energy to family, friends, and martial arts. Henry recently completed his Master’s in Business and Administration from Concordia University, where he specialized in the study of marketing, organizational behavior, and corporate governance. He has authored academic papers on the latter two subjects; these papers form part of his bibliography of over 20 professional research publications.

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