Title: Accessibility of emergency communications to deaf citizens

Authors: James Mueller, John Morris, Michael Jones

Addresses: Wireless RERC, Atlanta, GA, 4717 Walney Knoll Court, Chantilly, VA 20151, USA. ' Wireless RERC, Atlanta, GA, USA. ' Wireless RERC, Atlanta, GA, USA

Abstract: Since 2001, the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies (Wireless RERC) has taken an active role in promoting accessibility of emergency alerting systems for Americans with disabilities. Among federal government initiatives is a new rule that will take effect in 2010, requiring that emergency alerts be sent using Short Messaging Service (SMS) from all cell phone towers in areas affected by emergencies. This paper shares consumer input on wireless emergency communication via analysis of data gathered through the Survey of User Needs (SUNs) conducted by the Wireless RERC since 2001 and through focus groups conducted with deaf individuals.

Keywords: wireless technologies; deafness; emergency alerts; focus groups; accessibility; emergency communications; emergency management; disabilities; deaf people; short messaging service; SMS alerts; cell phones; mobile phones.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2010.032043

International Journal of Emergency Management, 2010 Vol.7 No.1, pp.41 - 46

Published online: 05 Mar 2010 *

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