There is a revolution in wireless technologies that is changing how we communicate during emergencies. The federal government agencies responsible for dissemination of emergency alerts, notifications, communications, and next generation distribution systems for emergency alerts have stated that redundancy and reliability are critical to ensure that alerts over “as many communications pathways as practicable” to reach the American people during crisis. Open proceedings at the FCC to create “a sound emergency communications system which also includes the needs of people with disabilities”; efforts by DHS/IPAWS and the NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) to provide accessible alerts over wireless and other platforms; and increased use of wireless devices by people with disabilities (85%) point to the necessity of ensuring that technology development goes beyond baseline accessibility and realizes the full potential and promise of next generation capabilities that are implemented in a way that considers people with disabilities. This project is developing three prototype “lifelines” on a wireless platform with related field testing/trials for people with disabilities: (1) EAS & CMAS Integration via Mobile Phone FM Radio Chip; (2) Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) Video Platform; and, (3) TTY like access to NG 9-1-1 via a wireless interface and field testing. The development work:
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The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies is sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under grant number 90RE5007-01-00. The opinions contained in this website are those of the Wireless RERC and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or NIDILRR.