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WEA - Optimizing Ability of Message Receipt by People with Disabilities

February 9, 2016 - In 2014, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate funded the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), Center for Advanced Communications Policy to examine and report on how to optimize Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) message receipt by people with disabilities. The research conducted under this contract with DHS S&T builds upon research initiated via the Wireless RERC emergency communications research and development projects.

Reaching people with disabilities, including the deaf and hard of hearing, with WEA messages is critical, in part because people with disabilities utilize and depend on wireless devices, including mobile phones at more than 96 percent. Their devices become even more important during emergencies. The aim of this project was to assist in understanding and identifying ways to ensure that people with disabilities had timely and effective access to WEA messages.  This report summarizes the findings.

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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.