Emergency calls – whether it is the ambulance, fire brigade, or police – are made mainly by phone, which does not provide deaf people adequate access to emergency services. These services are available through fax or short messages but provide limited communication during dire emergencies.
DEC112 - Deaf Emergency Call
Region: Implemented nationwide
Sector: Civil Society / Social Economy
Fields of action: Disability
Project owner: Verein zur Förderung der Weiterentwicklung von standardisierten und barrierefreien Notrufen
Responsible person: Gabriel Unterholzer
DEC112 – Deaf Emergency Call (“DEC112 – Der Notruf für Gehörlose”) implements a unified digital infrastructure for emergency services based on NG112 standards. The service includes features, such as determining the caller’s precise location via GPS. The app can also automatically transmit health information via text message. Furthermore, additional providers can integrate these innovative services into their system.
We are testing and improving the app’s usability in collaboration with the Austrian Federation of the Deaf. Our new training system offers training through realistic emergency scenarios, while simultaneously generating data to improve communication between the caller and emergency dispatcher.
Our programme has demonstrated the importance of accessibility in emergency services and is now supported by the Austrian Ministry of the Interior. Furthermore, Austria is currently leading a European incentive to establish modern and unified infrastructure for emergency services.
DEC112 users can contact emergency services in each European country. The programme can also be extended to other services. For example, it would enable emergency calls through sign language through sharing images or videos.