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Disabled Survey Reveals Emergency Call Patterns

A survey of disabled Americans by a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) committee found that a majority have not dialed 911 within the last two years, but when they did, 75 percent they experienced no problems—either technical or operational—in communicating with the dispatcher. Respondents also were emphatic on communicating with 911 directly rather than using a relay service—77.1 percent rated direct calling “very important.” The FCC’s Emergency Access Advisory Committee (EAAC) surveyed 3,132 people with a full range of hearing, cognitive, sight and other disabilities. They asked how the respondents normally communicate, what video or software they use, and questions on emergency calling. The survey found that 66.4 percent haven’t dialed 911 in over two years, and that just 2.4 percent dialed and reached a dispatcher who could not understand them. Overall, the respondents wanted to use text messaging (48.1%) to reach emergency help, followed by video and voice-video. Specifically, they prefer using real-time text messaging (45.1%), followed by SMS text and email. Download (pdf) the full survey report here.

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