The first Text to 911 service in Canada was rolled out this week in Metro Vancouver to serve deaf, hard-of hearing or speech-impaired (DHHSI) citizens needing to reach police, ambulance, and fire emergency services.
The new service, featuring AGENT511 technology, will be available to members of the DHHSI community who pre-register their cellphones through their wireless carrier. Once registered, citizens will be able to reach emergency operators and communicate via text message.
“This is an important day for the deaf and hard-of-hearing and those with speech impairments,” said Janice Lyons, head of interpreting services for the Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing. “To be able to reach this lifeline through a cellphone is a major improvement over current technology we are using.”