CRTC Supports Text with 9-1-1 Awareness Day

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December 1, 2016 — Ottawa-Gatineau — Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is pleased to participate in the Text with 9-1-1 Awareness Day. Text with 9-1-1 is now available throughout most of Canada 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.

For more information and for links to register for the Text with 9-1-1 service with their wireless service provider, Canadians are encouraged to visit www.textwith911.ca.

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.

Quick Facts

  • December 1st is Text with 9-1-1 Awareness Day. The CRTC encourages 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.
  • As directed by the CRTC, wireless and telephone companies made changes to their networks in order to support the provision of Text with 9-1-1 service.
  • This service is now widely available throughout 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.
  • 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.
  • In the event of an emergency, registered users must first dial 9-1-1 from their cellphone. The emergency call centre automatically receives a notification to initiate a conversation by text message.
  • Emergency call centres are operated by municipal, provincial and territorial governments. The CRTC regulates the telecommunications carriers.
  • Voice calling remains the only way to access 9-1-1 services for the general public.
  • Text with 9-1-1 is not yet available to the general public. Text messages sent by the general public to “911” do not reach emergency services.
  • The CRTC will hold a public hearing starting on January 16, 2017, to examine next-generation 9-1-1 services.

Quote

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.

Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman and CEO of the CRTC

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