CRTC Makes Pretty Cool Ruling

Last Updated on: 15th April 2014, 10:39 am

This is good news! The CRTC has made a ruling that, among other things, blind and deaf folks whill have better access to accessible cell phones and text messaging, and there will be better captioning and description on TV. I think the coolest thing I saw in there was that every wireless provider has to have at least one accessible phone. I think “accessible phone” has to be better defined, since the LG phones that speak *some* functions of the phones could be deemed accessible even though you don’t have access to the phone settings or much else, but it’s a good sign and it means that one provider can’t feel they have blind folks by the short and curlies.

But it did get me thinking. It said that there has to be something set up to allow deaf folks to have access to 911…which begs the question what do they do now? If a deaf person needs emergency assistance, do they have to talk to 911 via relay? Good sweet holy lord that would be slow and chaotic.

911 operator: what is the nature of your emergency?
relay person: types “what is the nature of your emergency?” go ahead.
deaf person: someone’s breaking into my house. Oh my god gun..(bunch of random keys)
relay person tries to constructa message and strip out the chaos.

See my point? What do they do now? I’m dead serious. I wanna know. I like to think I’m up on accessibility, but I know that the first part of accessibility that I have an understanding of is accessibility as it pertains to blindness. I know much less about the rest.

And this is whyI get mad when I hear other folks with disabilities immediately jumping to the “They just don’t care about us and don’t want to make things accessible” line. This is true in some cases when they don’t think there are enough of us to warrant making a change, or just don’t want to try, even when they are approached, but if they don’t have to deal with whatever you deal with every day, it doesn’t enter their mind. It’s not always evil, it’s human nature.

So this is pretty cool. It’ll be neat to watch things unfold.

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