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Accessibility for Persons with Hearing Loss

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Niagara 9-1-1 and the Emergency Services of Niagara are pleased to announce the delivery of Text with 9-1-1 (T9-1-1) service in the Niagara Region. T9-1-1 technology enables Communications operator to communicate with members of the DHHSI (Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired) Community by text messaging. T9-1-1 can be used whenever a Police, Fire Department, Niagara EMS or Niagara Parks Police response is required.

To be eligible to use this service the cell phone must be;

  • Registered for T9-1-1 with the DHHSI subscriber's cell phone company in advance
  • Capable of sending and receiving text (SMS) messages and activated with a service package that includes text messaging
  • Connected to a cellular network

In order to use the T9-1-1 service, registered users must place a conventional voice call to 9-1-1. The call from a registered cell phone is flagged to the emergency operator, prompting them to initiate a text chat with the registered device. Note that NO cell phone can initiate a text messaging session with a 9-1-1 centre. Unsolicited text messages sent to the number 9-1-1 are not delivered. The open call alongside a T9-1-1 messaging session enables the emergency operator to hear background sounds, and to immediately transition to a voice conversation with any person if the opportunity arises.

T9-1-1 registered callers are asked to be prepared to identify their ability to speak or hear as it is possible to expedite by conducting one side of the communication verbally while messaging the remainder of the communication.

T9-1-1 messaging, unlike conventional 9-1-1 calls, is reliant upon commercial public networks and the technological constraints thereof; Niagara 9-1-1 has no control over the delivery success/timelines of text messaging content.

As with voice calls to 9-1-1, the T9-1-1 service must only be used in the case of emergencies. Additional detail and instructional videos are available at www.textwith911.ca.

For Non-Emergency Calls to the Police members of the DHHSI community can use the BELL RELAY SERVICE (BRS) to facilitate phone calls. This service can be accessed by contacting the following numbers:

  • 1 800 855-0511 (Voice to TTY)

  • 711 (TTY to Voice)
  • 1 800 855-1155 (TTY to TTY)

The Bell Relay service (BRS) supports communication by phone between hearing people and people who are deaf, deafened, hard of hearing, or those with speech disabilities. Professionally trained operators act as intermediaries to facilitate the call. Bell Relay operators are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.