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50 Years of 9-1-1: A Message from the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing community

Date: 2018-02-17
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For me, it is amazing to watch how much 9-1-1 services have evolved in the past 30 years for deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing community members. I remembered hearing deaf people laying out the telephone handset so that first responders could find them (that was during Basic 9-1-1 system) and PSAPs putting the TTY in the drawer until the TTY calls come in (that was before ADA started). Some PSAPs would promote 7-digit numbers for TTY users. So much have changed to this day – I am thankful that we are able to call 9-1-1 directly even though some are still being developed, for example; video, multimedia using different communication modes, and others.

Meanwhile many thanks to 9-1-1 telecommunicators and industries for providing communication access to callers who are deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing.

Donna Platt
Emergency Preparedness Coordinator
Division of Services for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services



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