911 Service Increases Accessibility

Here is a service that may help some of riders as I have meet a groupĀ of avid atv riders who are hearing impaired in the past . With the added cell service in the area and in some locations you can only get enough service to text , this service may help a person in need.



911 Service Increases Accessibility

  • Details Published: Tuesday, 13 December 2016 11:23
  • Written by Rachel Siemens
  • Category: Local News

Emergency services now available through text for deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired individuals.

It will be easier for many to contact emergency services with an addition to their accessibility.

Contacting 911 is now available through text message for registered numbers and is exclusively for those who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired. Bev Barkman-Sofroniuk volunteers as a sign language interpreter at Southland Church and says she feels this service will come as a relief to many individuals.

“That’s awesome because I don’t know how they would have contacted for emergency help before. Recently I had a deaf friend who came upon an accident but, thankfully, maybe, he wasn’t the first one to arrive. How would you call for help if you couldn’t [hear or speak]?”

Sign Language interpreter Larissa Peters, formerly from Steinbach, says there are services in place for to assist deaf individuals such as the Video Relay Service (VRS). This service allows someone to video-chat with an interpreter for such cases as a doctor’s appointment. Peters notes if VRS closes at 6 p.m., for example, and an emergency happens at 9 p.m., VRS is no longer helpful and an additional service, like texting 911, becomes important.

“I think having access to [emergency services] and [everyone having] the ability to contact 911 is a huge step in the right direction. [Being able to contact emergency services for help] should be a basic human right.”

Mobile numbers may be registered through the individual’s service provider. When contacting emergency services, registered users would dial 911 to initiate the text messaging session