Top of page

New law says 911 emergency systems must accept text messages

person texting in dark

Fresno County does not yet have a text-to-911 emergency system in place for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The new law will ensure a statewide implementation of a text-to-911 system for emergency response by January 1, 2021, reports Fresnobee.

“I think we are in line sometime in November to start getting the initial visits from the state, because the state has to make sure that all of the hardware and software of the system is set up and in place so that when they bring the new system over that it is easily installed into our system,” said Fresno County Sheriff’s Lt. Francis Devins.

The new law addresses the difficulties people who are deaf and hard of hearing have when trying to contact emergency services. Currently, unless a county already has a system capable of receiving text messages, a person with impaired hearing can only use specialized devices to reach 911 call centers.

Michelle L. Bronson, executive director at the Fresno Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service Center, said she was thrilled that the bill was passed: “Not all of us have video phones and not all of us have the access and the ability to quickly contact 911. We also think it would benefit those who can hear but are in a 911 emergency where it’s not necessarily safe to use their voice.”

Bronson said it will be important agencies like hers to educate the community about this new text-to-911 system.

You might also like

Gavel and law books Gavel and law books

Tasmania urged to implement Human Rights Legislation

Tasmania should enact laws that better protect human rights, a…

blind person using audio book player for visually impaired, listening to audio book on his computer. blind person using audio book player for visually impaired, listening to audio book on his computer.

Lack of accessible crisis communication endangers lives of disabled people

Australians with disabilities are at risk from the impacts of…

Man in wheelchair in front of the stairs Man in wheelchair in front of the stairs

Strategies for rescuing disabled elderly during disasters

Disasters can strike suddenly, leaving communities weak and in vital…

Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville

Governor Lee signs Tennessee Disability and Aging Act into law

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed the Tennessee Disability and Aging…