The Arkansas School for the Deaf is promoting Smart911, a service to help the hearing impaired.
Smart911is a system that allows dispatcher’s to see an online profile of the person calling. It helps them know if the caller is deaf or if they have any allergies or health problems. Saturday, nearly 100 people met to show their support and bring awareness to their need for help with communication when it comes to emergencies.
Imagine having an emergency and calling 911 but not being able to speak or hear the dispatcher. It’s a scary situation and it happens every day to people who are deaf or mute. Saturday, the Arkansas Association for the Deaf is taking matters into their hands and coming together to raise awareness about Smart911. “The evidence is that technology continues to change, it’s evolving and for deaf individuals like myself we no longer depend on land lines,” says Jeff Prail.
Smart 911 is a program that allows people to sign up online at here. You can create a profile, and post health information to let emergency workers know about your existing conditions. Jeff Prail is with the association for the deaf and says the need for this program hits close to home. “My uncle passed away from a heart attack and my family members are also deaf and when we tried to call 911 it failed and they did not show up and the result was my uncle died of the heart attack.” While the program is enticing to the deaf it’s not for them exclusively. “It’s for parents or people with autism or anyone who can’t use their voice or be understood on the phone, it’s not just for our community.”
After Saturday’s meeting, parent’s like Candice Boyels are on board. Her 4 year old son is hard of hearing and asthmatic she thinks this online program is a solution for them. “He doesn’t have a sense of direction so if he heard sirens he wouldn’t know which way they were coming and with him having asthma, it would help because they would already know about that.”
Searcy just purchased Smart 911-they should have it running in a couple of months. The program is not available in Little Rock. The association urges attendees to contact their local representatives and let them know they want the program all over Arkansas.
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