In an emergency, a call to 911 could save your life.
But what happens if you can’t hear the instructions a dispatcher gives you?
By next year, you may be able to text details of an emergency situation to a 911 dispatch center near you. That would mean the deaf or hearing impaired could easily communicate their needs and receive help using the same technology many already use to communicate with friends and family.
The ability to text would also be useful to those who cannot place a phone call for fear of being heard in a dangerous situation, as well as for dispatchers who could view photos and videos of the event sent to them via text messaging.
The move is part of the proposed Next Generation 911, which will allow for expanded methods of communication with providers of emergency services. Now available in a few test markets, 911 texting will become more widespread over the next year, and is set to be fully supported by the nation’s four largest wireless carriers by May 15, 2014.
Those who can effectively communicate through phone calls should still call 911. As anyone who’s had a lengthy text conversation knows, what can be said in seconds takes much longer to type. And in an emergency, seconds count.
But for anyone who depends on texts to communicate, the change could mean everything.
Earth Day is one of the largest civic events in the world and is celebrated around the globe by people of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities. More than a billion people participate in “green” activities every year to honor Mother Earth.
Wondering how you can get involved? You can always reduce, recycle, renew, reuse. But did you know that there are ways, specific to those with hearing loss, to go green? Here are some suggestions:
- Take care of your hearing aids- proper cleaning and care of your hearing devices will prevent you from having to replace them more often than every three to five years.
- Purchase custom hearing protection- Instead of the disposable ear plugs that can be purchased at your local pharmacy, invest in custom ear plugs that will fit well and last a long a time.
- Donate or sell your old devices- instead of throwing them in the trash, you may be able to find someone else who could use your old hearing aids. Find out more by reading our previous post about this.
- Hearing devices and their batteries often come packaged in boxes with cardboard backing, shrink wrap, plastic shields, etc. Make sure you dispose of the recyclable materials properly.
Every day can be Earth Day. Commit to protecting our beautiful planet year-round.
Every year, the industry breaks new ground in hearing aid technology. 2013 is shaping up to be one of the best yet. Digital hearing aids have been around since the 1980s, but they weren’t very effective or popular until more recently.
Developments this year have the latest and greatest digital technology. Some are designed to be water resistant or even waterproof (to a certain depth), and some are able to play music through a wireless connection to a computer, cell phone or a personal audio device. Aside from these specific functions, most hearing aids are sleek and powerful with clean, crisp reception. It’s only been in the last five to ten years that digital hearing aids have become so superior to their analog cousins.