The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is lending its support to Text with 9-1-1 Awareness Day and is encouraging Canadians to participate in raising awareness of the Text with 9-1-1 service to deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired Canadians in their communities.
Text with 9-1-1 is now available throughout most of Canada including in many parts of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, and province-wide in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan to Canadians who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired (DHHSI). During an emergency, 9-1-1 call centres now have the ability to communicate via text messages with Canadians from the DHHSI community who have registered with their wireless service provider to access the service.
CRTC says that even if Text with 9-1-1 is not yet available in their region, all Canadians who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired may register for the service if their provider offers it in other regions. Therefore it would be available to them when travelling to serviced regions. Emergency call centres are operated by municipal, provincial and territorial governments with CRTC acting as the regulating body for the telecommunications carriers.
“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.”
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.