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EAAC MCLS Report

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Released: March 11, 2013
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Emergency Access Advisory Committee (EAAC)

Working Group 3 Recommendations on Current 9-1-1

and Next Generation 9-1-1: Media Communication

Line Services Used to Ensure Effective

Communication with Callers with Disabilities

March 1, 2013

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Table of Contents

I. SUMMARY........................................................................................................................ 4

II. RECOMMENDATIONS.................................................................................................... 5

III. BACKGROUND ................................................................................................................ 5

A. Technical Standards ....................................................................................................... 7

1. 3GPP work on Modality Requirements and Preferences ............................................ 7

2. ETSI work on Total Conversation Access to Emergency Services ............................ 7

3. SIPForum Video Relay Service Working Group........................................................ 7

B. Video Technologies........................................................................................................ 7

C. The PSAP Response....................................................................................................... 8

D. Well-Being of SLIs and CAs.......................................................................................... 9

IV. SUMMARY OF ISSUES ................................................................................................... 9

V. FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR CALLERS ..................................................... 10

VI. FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR TELECOMMUNICATORS.......................... 10

VII.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEDIA COMMUNICATION LINES SERVICES

AND TELCOMMUNICATIONS RELAY SERVICES .................................................. 11

VIII. MCLS ESTABLISHMENT.............................................................................................. 12

IX. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR BOTH MCLS AND PSAPs.................................. 12

X. MCLS OPERATIONS IN PRE-NG9-1-1 ENVIRONMENT.......................................... 13

XI. MCLS STANDARDS....................................................................................................... 14

XII. SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETERS AND COMMUNICATION ASSISTANTS...... 15

A. Minimum Skills............................................................................................................ 15

B. Certification.................................................................................................................. 16

C. Minimum Qualification (error rate of text, rate of delay) ............................................ 16

D. Communication Capability Requirement..................................................................... 17

E. Skills Evaluation (voice, sign, type)............................................................................. 17

XIII. TRAINING ....................................................................................................................... 18

A. Sign Language Interpreters (SLIs) ............................................................................... 18

B. Communication Assistant (CA) ................................................................................... 19

C. PSAP Telecommunicators............................................................................................ 20

D. Learning Methodologies and Resources ...................................................................... 21

1. Simulations................................................................................................................ 21

2. MCLS ........................................................................................................................ 21

3. Resources................................................................................................................... 21

XIV. CRITICAL INCIDENT STRESS MANAGEMENT (CISM).......................................... 22

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XV. MONITORING AND EVALUATION............................................................................ 23

A. Quality Assurance ........................................................................................................ 23

B. Evaluation of Recording for Legal purpose ................................................................. 23

XVI. CALLER PROFILES ....................................................................................................... 23

A) Emergency Profile or Registry Recommendations ...................................................... 24

XVII. CONSUMER EDUCATION............................................................................................ 25

XVIII. CONCLUSION................................................................................................................. 27

APPENDIX A: NG9-1-1 PC33 Use Case 3: ASL Caller Requiring Video Remote Interpreter . 28

APPENDIX B: Legacy 9-1-1 - Hearing person who speaks foreign language other than English

calls 9-1-1...................................................................................................................................... 29

APPENDIX C: Legacy 9-1-1: Video Relay Service (VRS) – Calling 9-1-1 .............................. 30

APPENDIX D: NG9-1-1: A person calls 9-1-1 using multimedia (caller profile) .................... 31

APPENDIX E: NG9-1-1: A person calls 9-1-1 using multimedia .............................................. 32

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1.

SUMMARY

Communication technologies are rapidly changing and expanding. Individuals with disabilities

are taking advantage of these trends to meet their communication needs. It is critical that

individuals with disabilities are able to call 9-1-1 directly, using new and advanced

communication devices.

Direct access to 9-1-1 may include various combinations of technology, such as video, text,

voice and data. Individuals with disabilities should have the opportunity to determine which

communication method would best help them communicate effectively. For example,

videophones are preferred communication mode for individuals who are deaf, deaf-blind and

hard of hearing. Video technologies such as Visually Assisted Speech-to-Speech (VA STS) are

becoming a preferred communication mode for people with speech disabilities. They feel secure

in using this technology to call 9-1-1 and expect telecommunicators to provide effective services

for all 9-1-1 calls.

Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) provides the ability to directly connect to 9-1-1 using various

devices, which include video, real-time text, voice1, and data. Direct access to NG9-1-1 will also

enable multi-party video conferencing. This will give telecommunicators the opportunity to

visually assess the caller and surroundings in order to dispatch appropriate assistance, and record

multi-party video conferencing in addition to voice and text communications.

The Emergency Access Advisory Committee (EAAC) recommends that the Federal

Communications Commission (FCC), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and U.S.

Department of Justice (DOJ) take appropriate steps, wherever necessary, to ensure that Public

Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) utilize trained and qualified sign language interpreters (SLIs)

and Communication Assistants (CAs) with emergency expertise via Media Communication Line

Services (MCLS) during Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) emergency calls.

MCLS is defined as a translation service for people with disabilities and telecommunicators

using video, voice, text, and data during NG9-1-1 calls. It is an extension of the language

assistance line concept used in legacy 9-1-1 and E9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points

(PSAPs). People with disabilities face various barriers in communicating with NG9-1-1 PSAPs.

By utilizing video, voice, text, and MCLS, PSAPs will bridge these barriers by providing the

appropriate communication assistance via multi-party calls.

Providing effective communication within the NG9-1-1 environment requires PSAP personnel to

be trained and qualified to support MCLS services. SLIs and CAs must be able to handle NG9-

1-1 calls and to interpret or assist parties effectively, accurately and impartially in emergency

situations as well as use a combination of communication modes accessible to individuals with

disabilities. The requirements for MCLS include development of certification standards for

qualified personnel, performance standards; and standard operating procedures that require direct

access to 9-1-1 for callers with disabilities, as opposed indirect access (e.g. relayed calls).

1 See also EAAC recommendation P2.2, EAAC Report and Recommendations. Released on

1/26/2012.

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EAAC recommends that MCLS become a nationally recognized certified standard service for

NG9-1-1.

This paper describes procedures, protocols, and guidelines for setting up MCLS in order to meet

the EAAC recommendations.

II.

RECOMMENDATIONS

To ensure effective communication to individuals with disabilities in NG9-1-1 environments,

EAAC recommends that the following be established:

1)

Independent MCLS centers, to be nationally recognized and certified

2)

National standard operational protocol (SOP) for MCLS

3)

Standard qualifications for Sign Language Interpreters (SLIs) and other types of

Communication Assistants (CAs) in handling 9-1-1 calls

4)

Standard training for SLIs, and CAs

5)

Standard employee assistance program for SLI and CAs

6)

Standard quality assurance (MCLS, SLIs, CAs)

7)

Consumer Outreach and Education Program

8)

General interoperability requirements and technical standards for MCLS and PSAPs

9)

Standard policy and operational protocol for contingency plans for MCLS

III.

BACKGROUND

The U.S. population currently includes more than 54 million people with disabilities, including

people who are deaf, deaf-blind, late deafened, hard of hearing, or who have speech disabilities.

For these people, calling for emergency assistance via NG9-1-1 may require use of specific

communication modalities that differ from those used by the general population.

The original 9-1-1 system, introduced in 1968, was based on wired telephones connected by

copper landlines. Since then, the system has been updated to include features such as automatic

number and location identification and enhanced call routing to the most appropriate PSAP.

Consumer communication electronics development, however, has outpaced the advancements to

the legacy 9-1-1 system. More recent communication technologies are allowing citizens to make

not only voice calls, but also to transmit text messages, real-time text, pictures, video, and data.

Today, there are consensus among EAAC and 9-1-1 stakeholders that it is time to update the 9-1-

1 infrastructure to enable the transmission of this type of digital information from callers to the

9-1-1 center, and on to the emergency responder community. NG9-1-1 is a system of 9-1-1

services and databases that run on an Internet Protocol (IP) based network, which allows

automatic and advanced sharing of digital data among all public safety responders, public safety

answering points (PSAPs), emergency management, traffic operations, and other entities.

Telecommunicators will be able to process all types of calls, including non-voice (multimedia)

calls and messages, and utilize several media simultaneously on the same call.

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As per EAAC recommendation T3.4, NG9-1-1 must include the capability to recognize the type

of call and language, as well as media preferences, before the call is routed to the most

appropriate PSAP, as this saves valuable time in setting up accessible communications.2 The

“most appropriate PSAP” may be one designated to receive MCLS-enhanced 9-1-1 calls – for a

number of PSAPs; allowing telecommunicator skills to be consistently used and enhanced; and

the cost to be shared among PSAPs.

According to EAAC Report on Emergency Calling for Persons with Disabilities Survey Review

and Analysis 2011, two critical issues were emphasized:

a) 83% of respondents indicated that it was very important that they are able to call 9-1-1

using the same device (using text, video, voice, and/or captioned telephone) that they use

to typically communicate every day3 and

b) 77% of respondents emphasized that it was very important to call 9-1-1 directly rather

than via relay service.4

Information required to signal the call type, language and media preferences for callers with

disabilities could be provisioned from different sources. One of the features in NG9-1-1 will

include access to a wide range of supportive databases to be used for call processing. One

example of such a database would be from subscribers/users account information obtained from

application forms filled out by individuals for services and products. It is recommended that two

fields be added to the application asking users to indicate their language and communication

preferences when they make a 9-1-1 call. However, it is not required for those questions to be

answered.

Once information on location, call type, language and media preferences are available, when

establishing an emergency call, NG9-1-1 policy routing database entries can be used to route the

call to the appropriate PSAP and automatically determine the appropriate interpretive services to

be added to the multi-party conference. This will save time in determining how to communicate

with the caller through video, voice, real-time text and other considerations needed for the

user.

Examples of databases from which information can be obtained are subscriber/user

account information, relay service providers, communication devices, medical equipment

information, alarm system, profiles stored in the emergency service system and other information

pertaining to callers.

Appendix A describes this schema for sign language communications via video. Note: other

types of interpretive services via other media should be arranged in similar ways.

2 EAAC Report and Recommendation, http://www.fcc.gov/document/eaac-report-and-

recommendations, page 33

3 EAAC Report on Emergency Calling for Persons with Disabilities Survey Review and Analysis

2011, question # 23 on page 30

4 EAAC Report on Emergency Calling for Persons with Disabilities Survey Review and Analysis

2011, question #22 on page 29

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A.

Technical Standards

EAAC has become aware of ongoing activities in standards development organizations and

industry forums related to use of caller profiles and accessible communication for deciding on

invocation of assisting services in calls. EAAC recommends that the FCC and DOJ check the

status of these actions and use as much of them as feasible when MCLS services are

implemented. People with disabilities expect to use the same device they use in everyday

communication, for direct calls to 9-1-1. It is crucial that equipment and services support the

NG9-1-1 standards and MCLS services.

1)

3GPP work on Modality Requirements and Preferences

3GPP standardizing wireless communication has, during 2012, initiated work on defining

user profiles for indicating and negotiation of language and modality requirements and

preferences. This will enable NG9-1-1 to detect need for invocation of MCLS.

The service specification 3GPPTS 22.101 has been modified with the approach to make

emergency service user profiles, but was changed to be of general value.

2)

ETSI work on Total Conversation Access to Emergency Services

The standardization body European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has just

completed work and published a technical report on the topic of Total Conversation Access

to Emergency Services. The document describes many aspects of emergency calls with

video, audio and real-time text. Profile usage for invocation of services is included. The

report is numbered ETSI TR 104 170. It describes the needs and recommended functions in

general terms, as well as specifically for the native Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and the

Internet Protocol Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) multimedia telephony technologies.

As of December 2012, the work continues with a technical specification on the same topic

called ETSI TS 101 470 Total Conversation Access to Emergency Services; with similar

topics but more strict implementable style.

3)

SIPForum Video Relay Service Working Group

SIPForum (December 2012) started work on creating a specification for relay services with

the purpose to harmonize relay services and enable interoperability between users of relay

services. The focus is on video relay services, but other services will also be mentioned.

Profile usage and emergency calling are both within scope for this work, which is planned to

be ready during 2013.

B.

Video Technologies

Video technologies are increasingly becoming popular and it is expected that they will become a

common mode of communication for everyone. As a result, it is also likely that individuals will

expect to call 9-1-1 directly using video technologies. Some of those callers could be people with

disabilities.

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Additionally, non-English speaking people have been calling 9-1-1 directly for many years and

PSAP telecommunicators have been connecting these calls with language services in order to

effectively communicate. This becomes in essence a conference call (see Appendix B). These

non-English speaking callers are not required to pre-register. Telecommunicators simply assess

what language is necessary. If the Telecommunicator is not able to determine the language, s/he

transfers the call to contracted language services for assistance. Language services have

someone who does assessments before transferring the caller to an interpreter speaking a similar

dialect.

A similar service and process should be available to people with disabilities that use varying

modalities for communication such as, but not limited to, telephone captioning or video

telephones for American Sign Language (ASL). This process serves as a fallback for situations

where the caller’s preferences cannot be recognized automatically (via preregistration) before

connecting to the PSAP, as described above. One such example would be the situation where the

person with disabilities borrows someone else’s phone to call 9-1-1.

According to Registry of Interpreters for Deaf (RID), there were approximately 4,000 video sign

language interpreters (VIs) working for video relay service providers in 2007.5 However the

usage of video technologies in several devices such as computers, smart phones and tablets has

expanded since the publication of the RID’s Video Relay Service Interpreting: Standard Practice

paper. Usage of video relay services has increased. It is assumed there are approximately 5,000

VIs for 125 video relay call centers nationwide6. They process approximately 8.9 million

minutes of typical relay telephone calls between sign language and voice each month7. There is

currently no data indicating the number of minutes or calls to 9-1-1.

Working conditions vary from provider to provider. VIs are trained to be transparent, non-

participatory, and confidential. They are screened for employment based on their ability to

receive and express sign language.

C.

The PSAP Response

The average speed with which 9-1-1 calls are processed by PSAPs varies among Internet Based

Telecommunications Relay Services (iTRSs) such as Video Relay Service (VRS), Internet

Protocol (IP) Relay Service, and IP Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS). The NENA

standard requires that 90% of all 9-1-1 calls to be answered within 10 seconds.8 The FCC

regulations require iTRS providers to respond to 80% of all calls (not specifically emergency

calls) in 120 seconds (VRS) or 10 seconds (IP Relay and IP CTS) and 9-1-1 relayed calls are to

5 http://www.rid.org/UserFiles/File/pdfs/Standard_Practice_Papers/Drafts

_June_2006/VRS_SPP.pdf

6 Since the exact data is confidential and proprietary, the posted figures are reasonably estimated.

7 The website Rolka Loube Saltzer Associates (RSLA, the FCC TRS administrator includes the

Performance Status report dated July 2011 to June 2012 - see http://www.r-l-s-

a.com/TRS/reports/2012-06TRSStatus.pdf

8 NENA 56-005, Section 3.1, Standard for Answering 9-1-1 Calls

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receive priority. However, there is no FCC standard regulation for 9-1-1 relayed calls to be

connected to the appropriate PSAPs within reasonable time, which is inconsistent and unsafe.

The public believes calling 9-1-1 will result in immediate help. Those who are deaf, deaf-blind,

hard-of-hearing or have speech disabilities trust that their 9-1-1 call responses will be immediate

and functionally equivalent.

D.

Well-Being of SLIs and CAs

Another area of concern is the well-being of SLIs and CAs. Research studies on occupational

hazards indicate that VRS is the most stressful and depressing setting for the interpreters9, mostly

due to unexpected calls and demands posed by emergency calls.

There is currently no national and uniform standard for relay service providers in processing 9-1-

1 calls, or training protocols for SLIs and CAs. Protocols, policies and procedures for training

staff vary for each relay service provider and/or call center. The provision of specialized training

to approximately 5,000 non-emergency VRS interpreters, to handle emergency-related calls, is

considered costly and challenging. But standard, specialized training is exactly what is needed in

order to for effective communications to occur between the caller and 9-1-1.

IV.

SUMMARY OF ISSUES

Due to rapid changing communication technologies, Media Communication Line Services

(MLCS) must be established to facilitate 9-1-1 calls in the NG9-1-1 environment in order to

allow individuals with disabilities to make direct 9-1-1 video calls using different

communication modalities. Both MCLS call centers and PSAPs need to adhere to pertinent

standards for NG9-1-1 to be fully interoperable.

Standard personnel qualifications (operational training, Sign Language Interpreters’ &

Communication Assistants’ skills qualification, etc.) should be developed for handling NG9-1-1

calls.

There is a need to establish standard operating procedures for PSAPs to handle calls from

individuals with disabilities who have voluntarily identified their communication preferences and

modes.

9 R. Dean (2010). Occupational Health Risks in Different Interpreting Work Settings. University

of Rochester. Online: http://www.imiaweb.org/uploads/pages/564_2.pdf (last accessed:

12/21/2012) and Dean, R. K. & Pollard, R. Q (2001). The application of demand-control theory

to sign language interpreting: Implications for stress and interpreter training. Journal of Deaf

Studies and Deaf Education 6 (1), 1-14

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V.

FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR CALLERS

The following requirements are associated with the caller’s ability to effectively communicate

with PSAPs. Callers must be able to:

a)

Call 9-1-1 directly using any device and/or apps via video, text, voice, and data anytime

using 3-digit numbers (9-1-1);

b)

Express their communication preferences and receive appropriate MCLS whenever

necessary to communicate with 9-1-1 telecommunicators, independent of caller data or

profile (e.g., subscriber/user account information);

c)

Identify communication preferences within the information provided during call

establishment so that MCLS can be automatically invoked at a PSAP;

d)

Request a change in MCLS or an additional MCLS when necessary (e.g,. by switching

the mode of communication during a call from text to sign language) without having to

disconnect the call; and

e)

Use their preferred terminal for 9-1-1 calls, and have their terminal support multipoint

video conference calls with PSAPs and MCLS.

VI.

FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR TELECOMMUNICATORS

A Telecommunicator must have ability to:

a)

Provide and maintain quality MCLS service to callers with disabilities;

b)

Provide appropriate auxiliary services based on callers’ communication needs,

preferences and expectations;

c)

Determine and clarify caller preferences, needs and expectations;

d)

Augment caller data (subscriber/user account information) with information about

communication needs and preferences allowing the telecommunicator to better target and

assess communication preferences;

e)

Anticipate caller preferences, needs, and expectations during the call and provide MCLS

in a timely manner, appropriate to caller needs and preferences;

f)

Offer possible extras and add-ons appropriately and provide additional MCLS services

where appropriate;

g)

Identify problems in services and take action immediately to address them;

h)

Modify MCLS (e.g., mode of communication, media types) whenever necessary;

i)

Initiate or terminate a MCLS service without having to disconnect the call;

j)

Replace SLIs/CAs as needed;

k)

Provide a MCLS service to a caller, independent of relay services;

l)

Communicate with the caller and SLIs/CAs in a multipoint video conference call; and

m)

Access a multipoint control unit (for media) and focus (for signaling) in all conference

calls so that it is possible to connect multiple video and audio end points to conferences

simultaneously.

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VII.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEDIA COMMUNICATION LINES SERVICES AND

TELCOMMUNICATIONS RELAY SERVICES

Today, an individual who uses VRS dials 9-1-1 on their device and is first connected to a video

interpreter (VI), then the VI connects to the PSAP (sometimes there is another connection to a

third party in-between the VI and the PSAP for call routing purposes) (See diagram in Appendix

C). The FCC requires that individuals who may call 9-1-1 are to be given a10-digit number

including area code for the PSAP after registering with their preferred relay service(s).

Registration includes the caller’s name, physical address and 10-digit number. When the

individual calls 9-1-1 via VRS today, the caller information should be electronically transmitted

to the PSAP’s with the automatic number identification/automatic location identification

(ANI/ALI) screen. However, sometimes the caller information does not appear on the ANI/ALI

screen because the call goes through an administrative line other than the 9-1-1 trunk line.

Each relay service provider is required to train their sign language interpreters on proper

handling of 9-1-1 calls; however, the content, depth and length of training varies from one

provider to another. There are currently no training standards. Each VRS provider develops

their own protocols for how the calls are to be handled. There is no national standard for relay

service providers’ processing of 9-1-1 calls. Also, there are no minimum requirements or

standards to determine whether video interpreters are qualified to interpret 9-1-1 calls.

Therefore, in order to address this aforementioned issue, Media Communication Line Services

(MCLS) must be implemented and functioned like any language services with which PSAPs

have contracts. When a video call is connected to 9-1-1 directly, the telecommunicator connects

the caller with the MCLS call center (or the connection is established automatically based on the

caller’s profile) – the same concept as when the telecommunicator connects to language services

whenever a foreign language speaker calls 9-1-1 (see diagram in Appendix D). Like other PSAP

telecommunicators, the SLIs and CAs will be required to go through physical and psychological

evaluations to determine their capability to perform their job in a stressful environment. SLIs and

CAs will be specifically trained to handle 9-1-1 calls using varying communication modalities to

accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities. Also, PSAP telecommunicators should

be trained to handle video calls as well as auditory communication modes.

Multi-party video conferencing will allow telecommunicators the opportunity to visually assess

the caller and/or surroundings in order to provide appropriate assistance. NG9-1-1 will record all

media types present in video conferencing calls.

Additionally, many consumers who are deaf or hard of hearing who use ASL as a secondary

language (oral or late-deafened) may benefit from using both video for ASL and speech reading

and captions. MCLS should have the ability for the telecommunicators to connect in multiple

ways, including audio, video (see the interpreter and the telecommunicator synchronously) and

/or captions via real-time text.

Furthermore, the VRS providers have obligation to accommodate their services to comply with

the FCC regulations where revisions and compensations may be made only after time-consuming

public rulemaking processes. The MCLS call centers will need to update their services and

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technology, from time to time as needed, independently of VRS policies as required by FCC.

The EAAC recommends that the certification requirements for the MCLS call centers to be

developed by the FCC, DOJ, DOT, and other federal agencies.

VIII.

MCLS ESTABLISHMENT

PSAPs that receive calls from callers using varying communication modalities (video phones,

captioned phones) will have seamless multi-conference connection abilities to any of the nation’s

MCLS call centers.

In order to effectively provide direct connect 9-1-1 services to all people using various

communication modalities, the EAAC recommends that the FCC should require the

establishment of multiple MCLS call centers, for redundancy and in order to ensure that any

PSAP can connect conference services in a single call. Criteria for technical requirements,

operational requirements, training requirements, and sustained funding must be considered prior

to establishment.

Established MCLS call centers should be able to provide video and text language services for

people with disabilities who use varying methods of communication, including but not limited to

American Sign Language and captioning. MCLS call centers must have established training

credentials and certifications for ALL qualified SLIs and CAs to adequately meet the needs of

emergency callers using varying communication methods.

Accreditation of MCLS call centers include setup requirements and training credentials for

meeting the needs of emergency callers using varying communication methods as described in

following pages.

IX.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR BOTH MCLS AND PSAPs

PSAPs should have the ability to instantly connect to the MCLS call centers, established

throughout the United States. MCLS call centers should be strategically located throughout the

country, so as to achieve redundancy in the face of disasters that affect the ability of any one

center to maintain operations. Direct connection to these call centers should be available for all

PSAPs. PSAP telecommunicators should have the technological ability to connect to MCLS in a

timely manner.

In order to have multi-video conferencing with text and voice, both PSAPs and MCLS agencies

should include the following list of requirements in their system for smooth call processing:

a)

Network connectivity to different network systems at same time

b)

Location determination for mobile devices (GPS), and ability to obtain location

within mobile applications

c)

Ability to convey location, call type and language preferences within signaling

d)

Redundancy

e)

Overflow routing and connection abilities to multiple MCLS call centers

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f)

Ability to connect to different devices and services

g)

Timeline for implementation including how each PSAP will transition from using

VRS or TRS to direct connect to MCLS call centers for direct 9-1-1 service for

people with disabilities.

h)

Quick and seamless connection from PSAP to MCLS Call Center

i)

Protocols and codecs for audio, real-time text, video and text messages (as per the

NENA i3 standards, and EAAC recommendation T2.1)10

j)

Multi-video conferencing, including voice and text for all parties

k)

Media quality standard for video, audio and text. (need to set up minimum

requirements on high quality media for both download and upload, sufficient to meet

all callers’ communication preferences)

l)

Technical factors adaptive to user's connection capacity (especially video bandwidth

adaptation)

m) Ability to handle addition of users to conferences via dial-in and dial-out, as well as

other call operations

n)

Security and privacy during the transmission of all communication channels and

media

o)

Queue information in video and text

p)

Include different communication modalities (text, video, voice, data)

1) Types of communication preferences

a) American Sign Language (ASL)

b) Other sign language systems (i.e., Signed Exact English (SEE), Conceptually

Accurate Signed English (CASE), Pidgin Sign English (PSE), Cued Speech)

c) Sign language and text (real-time text or messaging)

d) Voice and sign language with captions

e) Voice (with or without speechreading via video) and captions

f) Sign language one way, 9-1-1 text or voice back (i.e., Deafblind)

g) Speech-to-Speech support11

h) Language, memory and cognitive support

i) Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) devices12

j) Any combination of text, voice and sign language

X. MCLS OPERATIONS IN PRE-NG9-1-1 ENVIRONMENT

The EAAC believes that achieving equal access to 9-1-1 emergency services by individuals with

disabilities is part of the migration to the national Internet protocol-enabled emergency network

(NG9-1-1) and is a matter of long-term national policy. However, there are steps that need to be

considered for preparing MCLS call centers for transition to NG9-1-1 environment.

10 EAAC Report and Recommendation, http://www.fcc.gov/document/eaac-report-and-

recommendations, page 30

11 http://www.fcc.gov/guides/speech-speech-relay-service

12 AAC assists an individual with speech disability to communicate via electronic or non-

electronic devices.

http://www.ussaac.org/aboutaac.htm

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EAAC has found that current video and IP relay service providers have frequently improperly

delivered or handled emergency calls to Public Safety Answering Points via the existing 9-1-1

networks, as required by FCC regulations. EAAC recommends the implementation of a national

Media Communication Line Services (MCLS) through either a national entity or through

regional entities. Therefore, criteria for technical requirements, operational requirements,

training requirements, and funding continuity must be considered prior to establishment of

MCLS. Specifically, EAAC recommends that the Commission:

1.

Work with US DOJ, DOT and appropriate federal agencies to take the appropriate

steps to expedite any regulatory changes needed to adopt the recommended solution.

Among regulatory changes include:

a)

Policies, procedures and practices relating to ASA between callers and

PSAPs

b)

System redundancy

c)

Contingency and back-up plan

d)

Call-back procedures

e)

Qualification of SLIs and CAs for handling emergency calls via relay

services

f)

Training requirements for SLIs and CAs including varying communication

methods to accommodate needs of callers

g)

Certification for MCLS call centers

2.

Collaborate with relay service providers and MCLS centers to develop interim

recording and retaining relayed calls in accordance with State and local PSAPs’ policies

and procedures;

3.

Require VRS/IP Providers to make their service compatible with recommended

guidelines as set forth in National Emergency Number Association (NENA) Specification

for i3 Solution in order to forward all 9-1-1 calls to a MCLS center.13

XI.

MCLS STANDARDS

MCLS shall maintain highly skilled SLIs and CAs to provide effective communication services

between callers and Telecommunicators during crisis calls. The MCLS should include the

following:

a)

Line Services

b)

Privacy and security in studio arrangement

c)

Availability of interpreters, CAs, and services 24/7/365

d)

Certified Deaf interpreters (CDI) who are native or near native in ASL, to provide

assistance to interpreters as back-up whenever the interpreters are not able to

understand sign language users

e)

Length of response time from SLI or CA

f)

Teaming-up of multiple interpreters and/or CAs for maximum efficiency and speed of

communication

13 http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.nena.org/resource/collection/2851C951-69FF-40F0-A6B8-

36A714CB085D/NENA_08-751-v1_i3_Requirements_LTD.pdf

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g)

Time to respond after an incoming request for services (mean value and max for 97%

of the calls)

h)

Contingency Plan, to include ability to transfer the service to another call center.

i)

Redundancy for catastrophic situations. Service centers in different locations.

Redundant communication routes.

j)

Liability

k)

Consistent and uniform policies regarding various communication situations

l)

Unique operator identification in a way that protects their privacy (such as ID

number), so that they can be identified for reporting or quality assurance purposes, or

asked for during resumption of a disconnected call.

m) Call case logging

n)

Compensation for services rendered to include

1) Stand-by

2) Minutes for calls

XII.

SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETERS AND COMMUNICATION ASSISTANTS

The role of Sign Language Interpreters (SLIs) and Communication Assistants (CAs) is to

translate, transliterates or interpret conversation between one or more end users.

A.

Minimum Skills

The MCLS agency is responsible for hiring qualified and skilled VIs and CAs to handle relayed

9-1-1 calls between callers using different modalities and 9-1-1 Telecommunicators. Intensive

training for handling emergencies is required.

Both SLIs and CAs must demonstrate competency in:

Typing (60 wpm)

Spelling (how many errors acceptable?)

Interpretation of sign language in various modes and styles

Interpretation of written communication of people with disabilities

Knowledge of hearing and speech disability cultures

Etiquette

It is critical that both SLIs and CAs should possess the following specified skills for providing

effective communication performance during emergencies, similar to PSAP Telecommunicators.

The SLIs and CAs will be required to go through physical and psychological evaluations to

determine their capability to perform the essential functions of the job in a stressful environment.

SLIs and CAs may also be required to go through drug screening, criminal history check,

polygraph exam, and/or computerized voice stress analysis. SLIs and CAs will be intensively

trained to handle video 9-1-1 calls using different communication modalities to accommodate the

needs of individuals with disabilities.

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B.

Certification

The requirement that qualifies sign language interpreters or CAs to work in a MCLS agency is to

have skill sets to handle 9-1-1 calls.

Sign Language Interpreter (SLI): According to the ADA, a “qualified” Interpreter is able to

interpret effectively, accurately and impartially both receptively and expressively, using any

necessary specialized vocabulary. The interpreter must possess National Interpreter Certification

(Master, Advanced), Certificate of Interpretation (CI) and/or Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI)

from Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) or certification from state agencies.

Communication Assistant (CA): There currently is no available certification specific to CAs.

However, we recommend that as part of the MCLS procedures and policies, appropriate

certifications are developed for CAs handling 9-1-1 calls.

SLIs and CAs must have completed the training, specifically designed for handling 9-1-1 calls

from people who are disabled, as described in the next few pages. Additional certification and

training criteria should be established for MCLS call centers.

A team of qualified individuals, expert in sign language and communication assistance, should

be established to evaluate SLIs and CAs for skills and qualifications. Recommendations of

evaluators selected for the team shall be freelance interpreters, staff from sign language

interpreter agencies, teachers of ASL, teachers/board members of state deaf schools, teacher

working with individuals with speech disabilities & disabilities, members of American Sign

Language Teachers Association chapters (ASLTA), officers of Deaf organizations/clubs,

National Association for Hearing and Speech Action (NAHSA), United Cerebral Palsy

Foundation, or national organizations or associations servicing persons with disabilities and

individuals with speech disabilities and/or disabilities. This group shall be diverse, neutral, and

professional in order to evaluate appropriately and to determine the results without any possible

conflict of interest.

C.

Minimum Qualification (error rate of text, rate of delay)

Handling 9-1-1 calls can be highly stressful and require SLIs and CAs to be able to relay

messages both receptive and expressive effectively between both parties.

Desirable Minimum Experience:

Sign Language Interpreters

5 years or more community interpreting experience (consisting of at least 2 years of law

enforcement and/or medical emergency interpreting services)

At least 1,000 hours of in VRS experience

Speak word by word or translate to English while reading text messages from the caller

Have taken Deaf studies or knowledge of Deaf culture from the early 1900’s to current

year.

Vast knowledge of classifiers including facial expressions, body language, etc.

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Communication Assistants

5 years or more as speech therapist, speech language pathologist or have worked with

people with speech disabilities

At least 1 year experience in Speech-to-Speech (traditional/video) with more than 1000

hours

At least 1 year experience in text relay with more than 1000 hours

Knowledgeable of speech patterns (neurological and language)

Speak word by word or translate to English while reading text messages from the caller

D.

Communication Capability Requirement

The SLIs and CAs must possess the following skills to be qualified as employees with the MCLS

agency.

Sign Language Interpreter:

Must be able to handle callers with various communication modalities (sign, voice, text)

Must be able to use receptive and expressive skills with regional signs, signs for names &

locations

Must be able to speak word by word or translate to English while reading text messages

from the caller

Must be able to work with callers who have other disabilities in addition to those with

hearing loss, vision loss, mental health, limited language skills, etc.

Communication Assistant:

Must have an understanding of various types of speech disabilities (neurological and

language)

Must also possess clear and articulate voice communications

Must be patient

-

some callers may have long pauses

-

some callers may not be clear so therefore they would be asked to repeat or to clarify

-

some non-disabled people may become frustrated

Must have strong listening skills

-

some callers may have garbled speech

E.

Skills Evaluation (voice, sign, type)

It is recommended that SLIs and CAs be evaluated by a neutral group of subject matters experts

(SMEs) to ensure the SLI and CA are qualified in handling 9-1-1 calls. See Section XI B for

recommendations on criteria of evaluators.

Also it is recommended that SLIs and CAs have their performance review at least every 6

months.

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Sign Language Interpreter:

Voice translation

ASL translation in various communication style

Communication Assistant:

Revoicing

a)

People with varying speech disabilities

b)

People who are deaf, deaf-blind or hard of hearing

CAs should be evaluated for their re-voicing for people with various degrees of speech

intelligibility at least every 6 months.

XIII.

TRAINING

Effective communication is required when a caller who is deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing, who

has a speech disability or who has another disability, calls a PSAP. Training is required for all

parties involved. PSAP Telecommunicators should be properly trained on methodologies for

connecting to the MCLS call center. If a caller is seen as well as heard by the Telecommunicator

or if text communication is received, the PSAP Telecommunicator should be aware of how to

effectively connect to MCLS call center for multi-party conferencing and to provide service in

the most expedient and seamless way possible.

A.

Sign Language Interpreters (SLIs)

SLIs should be qualified to provide functional equivalency for communication through, but not

limited to, oral interpreting, written captions, or any combination. This will help expedite

effective communication and response for services during 9-1-1 calls. Training for SLIs shall

include, but are not limited to:

1.

Procedures for connecting and multi-conferencing with SLI or CA to a caller and a

PSAP Telecommunicator.

2.

Emergency communications training, for interaction between callers,

Telecommunicators, and emergency responder personnel.

3.

9-1-1 protocol training for emergency response, similar to training provided to

Telecommunicators. SLIs will receive training on procedural matters and incident

command for emergency responders. This will help SLIs understand the needs of

responders on the scene and what will be communicated to the caller and how to

interpret it properly

4.

9-1-1 and emergency responder awareness (e.g., fire, law enforcement, emergency

medical services [EMS]), and 9-1-1 call handling methodologies. This training will

include medical terminology (and appropriate signs), legal terms, procedures, and

local agency names. Additionally, incidents that are likely to result in high volume

calls (e.g., automobile accident on a crowded roadway, missing persons, etc.) should

be described and discussions should occur on how these call types affect these

processes. These scenarios will provide SLIs with an overview of actions and

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decisions being made by the PSAP Telecommunicators and allow for SLIs to provide

better transparency to both the caller and the Telecommunicator.

5.

Basic first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training. The training would

help SLIs to understand techniques and procedures described by a Telecommunicator

during a relevant emergency call (e.g., choking, checking a pulse, etc.) and also to

provide appropriate signs to callers.

6.

Critical incident care. Critical incident care refers to assisting callers with critical

incident call handling (appropriate tone and statements to a survivor of an incident or

someone who is assisting a survivor. Critical incident care also refers to self-care for

the SLI or CA and stress management in dealing with vicarious trauma (See Section

XIII – Critical Incident Stress).

7.

Regionally appropriate signs, name signs, and signs for specific locations and people.

8.

Deaf culture from the early 1900’s to current year.

B.

Communication Assistant (CA)

A Communication Assistant (CA) should be available for people with hearing loss and limited/

no proficiency in American Sign Language (ASL) when contacting 9-1-1. CAs should be

qualified in the same areas as a SLI to provide functional equivalency for communication

through, but not limited to, oral interpreting, written captions, or any combination.

While there is not a required length of training for CAs in their current roles, the FCC requires

that all CAs be sufficiently trained to effectively meet the specialized communications needs of

individuals with hearing and speech difficulties. CAs are required to possess competent skills in

typing (minimum of 60 words per minute), grammar, spelling, interpretation of typewritten ASL,

and familiarity with hearing and speech disability cultures, languages and etiquette. CAs must

also possess clear and articulate voice communications.

CAs should receive more extensive training for handling 9-1-1 or emergency calls through a

MCLS call center. CAs should receive training and evaluation in the following areas:

1.

Procedures for connecting and multi-conferencing with SLI or CA to a caller and a

PSAP Telecommunicator.

2.

Emergency communications training, for interaction between callers,

Telecommunicators, and emergency responder personnel.

3.

9-1-1 protocol training for emergency response, similar to training provided to

Telecommunicators. SLIs will receive training on procedural matters and incident

command for emergency responders. This will help SLIs understand the needs of

responders on the scene and what needs to be communicated to the caller and how to

interpret it properly.

4.

9-1-1 and emergency responder awareness (e.g., fire, law enforcement, emergency

medical services [EMS]), and 9-1-1 call handling methodologies. This training will

include medical terminology (and appropriate signs), legal terms, procedures, and

local agency names. Additionally, incidents that are likely to result in high volume

calls (e.g., automobile accident on a crowded roadway, missing persons, etc.) should

be described and discussions should occur on how these call types affect these

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processes should occur. These scenarios will provide CAs with an overview of

actions and decisions being made by the PSAP Telecommunicators and allow for

SLIs to provide better transparency to both the caller and the Telecommunicator.

5.

Basic first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training. The training would

help SLIs to understand techniques and procedures described by a Telecommunicator

during a relevant emergency call (e.g., choking, checking a pulse, etc.) and also to

provide appropriate signs to callers.

6.

Critical incident care. Critical incident care refers to assisting callers with critical

incident stress as required (appropriate tone and statements to a survivor of an

incident or someone who is assisting a survivor. Critical incident stress also refers to

self-care for the CA and stress management in dealing with vicarious trauma (See

Section VII – Critical Incident Stress).

7.

Regionally appropriate names and specific locations or terms.

8.

Deaf/Hard of Hearing culture from the early 1900’s to current year.

C.

PSAP Telecommunicators

PSAP Telecommunicators should be trained to handle video calls as well as auditory

communication modes used by people with speech disabilities.

Multi-video conferencing will be

included in NG9-1-1.

This will give Telecommunicators the opportunity to assess the caller and

surroundings in order to send appropriate assistance.

NG9-1-1 will record the video of multi-

video conferencing.

PSAP Telecommunicators should receive specialized training in order to provide effective

communication for consumers using alternative communication methods. Training must include,

but is not limited to:

1.

Procedures for connecting and multi-conferencing with a caller and SLI or CA.

2.

Information on the roles/responsibilities of SLIs and CAs during a call.

Telecommunicators should speak directly to the caller and assist in seamless

communication whereas SLI or communications assistant remain as transparent as

possible. In other words, Telecommunicator should not speak to SLI and say “tell

him/her this or that.” Questions or comments should be made as if no SLI were

present.

3.

Policies and procedures for connecting to an SLI or CA as needed.

Telecommunicators should be trained on identifying callers who may have the need

for SLI or communications assistant.

4.

Protocols for handling the lag time while finding the language, ASL, or

communications assistant and connecting to SLI or CA (and acceptable rate of delay).

5.

Procedures and scenarios for the possible lag time between SLI or communications

assistant and the caller before information can be conveyed.

6.

Use of short sentences and simple vocabulary and short phrases to convey questions

and instructions. For example, during an emergency medical dispatching (EMD)

scenario, if there is no understanding, the Telecommunicator may be allowed to

rephrase. Simpler words, such as “awake” instead of “conscious”, should be used.

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7.

Basic overview of the language differences between spoken language and ASL, such

as the importance of facial expressions, classifiers, and the different syntax of ASL.

8.

Differences with the varying modalities of communications and the people who use

them. All people who use communication assistance do not have equivalent

knowledge and proficiency with varying modalities of communications. For example,

false statements: “all people who are deaf or hard of hearing read lips”, or “all people

who are deaf or hard of hearing know sign language” or “all people who are deaf or

hard of hearing have an equal understanding of written English and can read captions,

etc.”

D.

Learning Methodologies and Resources

Some education or training may be both efficient and cost-effective if done through online

training methods. However, collaboration with other members of the PSAP community makes

some face-to-face training scenarios the optimal method. A blended learning path for all

individuals is recommended.

1.

Simulations

PSAP Telecommunicators, SLIs and CAs will participate in training drills, table top

exercises, and simulations to prepare them for assisting people who are deaf, deaf-blind,

hard of hearing or speech impaired.

2.

MCLS

The use of MCLS call centers and PSAPs, from the beginning of the call, saves valuable

time in an emergency. MCLS will be effective for calls that can be automatically

connected as well as non-automatic connection. Proper training in uniform procedures,

especially hand-on activities, provides for effective handling. Training prerequisites need

to be established.

3.

Resources

Multiple resources are available for MCLS to engage in these types of training efforts.

MCLS should work with local PSAPs to coordinate training efforts or to look for

recommendations for outside training courses. With the transition to NG9-1-1, training

courses and resources for video emergency calls should become more widespread and

uniform. State and local chapters of the National Emergency Number Association

(NENA) and the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO), as well

as the National Academies for Emergency Dispatch (NAED) provide additional

information on training courses, training standards, and additional detail on any of the

described topics.

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XIV.

CRITICAL INCIDENT STRESS MANAGEMENT (CISM)

The EAAC recommends that qualifying MCLS agencies are required to provide critical incident

stress management services to their employees. Proper stress management methods and training

for SLIs and CAs is essential to protect the health and well-being of employees. By handling a

video emergency call, SLIs and CAs are potentially exposed to traumatizing events. Current

research is beginning to show a correlation between emergency call handling and symptoms of

post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and researchers believe that the addition of video to a call

will only compound these effects. It is important that SLIs and CAs are provided proper stress

management training and proper outlets to help cope with stressful situations.

A March 2012 report discusses findings that suggest physical exposure to an incident may not be

necessary to cause symptoms of PTSD in Telecommunicators.14 With the advent of NG9-1-1,

researchers and the 9-1-1 stakeholder community, including the FCC’s Communications

Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC), are concerned that the addition of

video to emergency calls could have a negative impact on Telecommunicator emotional

wellbeing.15 These are concerns that currently face SLIs and CAs today.

According to the REACH112 project in Europe, the reports indicate that PSAP

Telecommunicators, after working with video in emergency calls, are in general very positive to

the medium, and the concerns they had before beginning to work with video in 112 calls were

reduced. Having video available to convey the impression of professional handling, and to

perceive more information by viewing directly rather than interpreting answers, can be very

satisfying and reduce stress appearing otherwise by being distanced from the emergency scene

and the frustration of not getting sufficient information through questions and answers.

Ongoing stress management training is essential for SLIs and CAs to be able to perform their job

at the high degree of efficiency necessary to provide the service required during an emergency

call. This type of training provides SLIs and CAs with scenarios that can cause stress, how to

perform during these situations, and how to cope with the situation in the hours, days, and weeks

following the event. Trainees are also provided with resources (e.g., hotlines, reading materials,

councilor information, etc.) to obtain assistance following a traumatic incident.

In addition to ongoing stress management training, there are multiple tools that SLIs and CAs

can leverage to aid in coping with stressful incidents. Comprehensive CISM programs can be

implemented that focus on peer driven support immediately following an incident with periodic

follow-ups to ensure personnel are handling stress in a healthy manner. Peer support and an

open dialogue about the different ways to deal with stress in the work place can greatly improve

effectiveness of stress management programs. Additionally, mentoring programs provide

guidance to new staff and allow for seasoned staff to provide support from an experienced

14 Pierce, H. & Lilly, M. (2012) Duty-related trauma exposure in 9-1-1 telecommunicators:

Considering the risk for posttraumatic stress. Journal of Traumatic Stress 25(2), pp. 211-215,

April 2012. DOI: 10.1002/jts.21687

15 CSRIC II WG4B Final Report, p. 33: http://transition.fcc.gov/pshs/docs/csric/CSRIC-WG4B-

Final-Report.pdf

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source. Group or individual counseling sessions allow for discussions to occur in a safe place

with a professional who is trained in helping communications professionals dealing with

extremely stressful and emotional working environments.

XV.

MONITORING AND EVALUATION

A.

Quality Assurance

In order for MCLS call centers to provide effective services, it is critical that the centers

are to modify on a timely manner based on:

a) Feedback method on the services rendered.

b) Statement in the contract that gives right to not use a specific SLI.

c) Electronic method to report issues quickly during or after a call.

B.

Evaluation of Recording for Legal purpose

1.

PSAPs record and store video conversation for a specific period of time, according to

state or local law. These recording may be evaluated if:

a)

Internal to the PSAP - it is recommended that the recording be evaluated by a

neutral group of SMEs as defined in Section XI B.

b)

Court – A recording may be requested or be subpoenaed for legal purposes.

Recording may be evaluated by request.

2.

MCLS call centers may review caller conversations for quality assurance and training

purposes in the same manner as any PSAPs.

XVI.

CALLER PROFILES

As indicated in the background section, there are discussions in various groups about the benefit

of user profiles for rapid guidance during 9-1-1 call establishment in order to achieve suitable

service in the call. Storage of such profiles can be arranged for use in the NG9-1-1 environment.

The discussion in this chapter covers profiles stored in the NG9-1-1 system, while some

conclusions may be valid also for profiles stored in other parts of the communication systems.

The profiles to be stored in the NG9-1-1 system could cover factors of interest in emergency

situations. Generally, it is not necessary for anyone including individuals with disabilities to

store such information with 9-1-1. The main goal of NG9-1-1 is to process all types of

emergency calls including non-voice (multi-media) calls and messages. Individuals with

disabilities, like any non-disabled individuals, can choose to store profiles or not. It is essential

that everyone should be informed on the advantages and disadvantages of registering profiles

with 9-1-1. Caller profile registration must be voluntary and may provide valuable information

regarding medical conditions, type of disability, language, and/or communication modes as well

as other critical data for first responders in the most seamless method possible in time of

emergency.

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The privacy and confidentiality of persons with disabilities must be protected. There are many

issues around this type of data due to HIPPA laws and, whenever it becomes available, the caller

will have to indicate in their information data that it is permitted to release to authorized

personnel. There are current discussions on who is “authorized” and whether this is only for

EMT or licensed medical person or if this should include 9-1-1 Telecommunicators or

dispatchers.

While information included in signaling may help eliminate some educated guess work by the

Telecommunicators as to what communications assistance is required (ASL, captions, oral

interpreter, Spanish or other languages), additional data or the caller profile may provide PSAPs

additional information such as medical condition, type of disability or other critical information

that callers wish for first responders to be aware. PSAPs are encouraged to explore and

collaborate with local communities on the best practices for creating and maintaining caller

profile registrations. PSAPs are also encouraged to work with individual companies and

consumers to acquire access, where possible, of caller profiles to eliminate redundancy. The

maintenance of the profile should be the responsibility of the individual consumer, renewed a

minimum of six months.

Callers who may have data information stored for retrieval during the emergency call

may make

a quick and synchronous connection to appropriate PSAP & MCLS. In a same manner as

ANI/ALI, the communication preference, language preference, medical information, and

frequent physical addresses will appear on Telecommunicator screen. Also Telecommunicators

will be able to see the caller profile and to provide appropriate services to callers who may not be

able to communicate their needs. (See diagram in Appendix D) The challenges for individuals

who do not have stored data information include time delays in finding out communication

preference, getting MCLS on the line, and limited access to callers’ information that may be

pertinent to the emergency, such as information about medical conditions or type of disability.

(See diagram in Appendix E)

A.

Emergency Profile or Registry Recommendations

The concept of NG9-1-1 is to have access to a wide variety of databases for routing or call

processing.

Examples of databases are subscriber/user account information with services and/or

products, relay service providers, communication devices, medical equipment information, alarm

system, vehicle telemetry, and other data information.

1) Profile information that Telecommunicators obtain data from could be:

a)

form filled out by the caller, family member, social worker, and/or others

b)

vCard or medical records forwarded by the caller

c)

link to other databases such as medical records, vehicle, sensors, or other data

information

d)

Emergency service organization

e)

Communication service providers

2) Primary specific information on caller to be included in database could be:

a)

Language

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b)

Communication Modes – for example, can’t hear but can speak

c)

Preferred media types (video, text, audio, voice, AAC, etc.)

d)

Disability

e)

Frequent address(es)

f)

Medical Alert – medications – known allergies

g)

Special exit and route procedures

h)

Link to other databases

i)

Others

It is recommended that the following references are considered and possibly extended when

establishing the system for storing, managing, signaling and using caller data information for

accessible NG9-1-1:

Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) RFC 3840 and IETF RFC 3841, caller

preferences and caller capabilities16

NENA 71-001 NG9-1-1 Additional Data17

ETSI ES 202 746 User Profile Preferences and Information18

IETF on additional data in emergency calls: draft-ietf-ecrit-additional-data19

Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII)20

XVII. CONSUMER EDUCATION

The evolution to NG9-1-1 is likely to take some time, and will produce a changing patchwork of

available technologies as local and state migration is completed nationwide. As transition

occurs, it is important to educate the public on new forms of available communication access to

9-1-1 and where the communication access is available for use.

Even today, consumers are not aware of options being offered to reach 9-1-1, such as alternative

communication modes and relay services. To the extent possible, consumers should be made

aware of the best way to help themselves in an emergency, optimal modalities to meet their

individual communication preferences, and the best questions to ask PSAPs to make sure the

appropriate communication modes are available when and where they are needed.

16 http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3841.txt

17 http://www.nena.org/general/custom.asp?page=NG911_AdditionalData

18http://www.etsi.org/deliver/etsi_es/202700_202799/202746/01.01.01_60/es_202746v010101p.

pdf

19 http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-ietf-ecrit-additional-data

20 http://gpii.net

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The need for public education has been stated by previous FCC advisory groups, including the

Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC), Working Group

4B:

“Effective public education and awareness programs about NG9-1-1 and the appropriate

use of NG9-1-1 must be developed. Educating the public about NG9-1-1 should be done

in two phases, with two distinct results in mind. First, the public should be educated

about the benefits of NG9-1-1 to create a groundswell of support for its implementation.

An informed and engaged public will act as an extremely powerful and influential

lobbying group with decision makers who may be under-informed about the creation of

NG9-1-1. Later, when transition is nearing completion, the public must also be educated

about NG9-1-1’s expanded capabilities for receiving information and about how they can

best use these new options for contacting emergency services, as well as the limitations of

the new system.”

It is essential that NG9-1-1 public education include specific components to address the needs of

people with disabilities. Every community will tailor its consumer education to meet its

particular needs, but there are a number of topics that should be considered, such as:

Subscriber/user account information

Caller profile registration

How the 9-1-1 call is processed when registered or not registered

Choosing relay services or PSAP who will connect callers with SLI or CA

Pros and cons of relay services and MCLS

Options for communication access while calling 9-1-1

Criminal charges for improper use or abuse of 9-1-1 calls

It will be a challenge, but necessary, to devise a plan that includes information on HOW to reach

9-1-1 as well as WHERE specific communication modalities are available to individual PSAPs.

It will also be a challenge to update this information as the migration to NG9-1-1 continues.

State and local 9-1-1 authorities are strongly encouraged to work with individuals, advocates and

organizations familiar with the emergency communication preferences of people with disabilities

to identify their needs – from their perspective. Melding these needs with the particular needs of

PSAP Telecommunicators will provide the framework for a public education program that

enables PSAP Telecommunicators the ability to help callers in truly effective ways.

There may be a variety of options for how and where NG9-1-1 consumer education could be

conducted. While in-person or video education may be preferable, other methods may be useful,

such as webcast demonstrations (i.e., YouTube, etc.), public service announcements with open

captions, and SLI and descriptive video services. Public education could be conducted in a

number of venues, including Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission meetings, Deaf/hard of

hearing/deaf-blind/late deafened clubs/organizations as well as organizations or associations

servicing persons with disabilities meetings, booths at events, and informational presentations.

The timing of efforts should not only consider conducting consumer education before a new

emergency communication option is available, but ongoing education after implementation of

new technologies – perhaps on an annual basis. The credibility of the information is crucial, so

26

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presenters should be selected carefully, and it is recommended that the message be delivered by

both PSAPs and community leaders; making sure that all appropriate accommodations are

available (SLIs, caption, etc.). A collaborative approach will not only ensure appropriate

expertise, but may also leverage resources and facilitate the process of reaching the greatest

number of people who need the information.

The options for public education contained in this document are not meant to be an exhaustive or

detailed list, but are intended to raise general issues for providing information about the NG9-1-1

system to the public that is truly useful for both consumers and PSAP Telecommunicators, and

effective in making both callers and PSAP Telecommunicators ready for communicating in an

emergency.

XVIII. CONCLUSION

Live video and text communication is becoming popular for communication worldwide and will

be commonly used among all people.

Video technologies (stand alone, built-in webcam via computer, tablets & smart phones) are

expanding, as well as applications which individual use for video communication. Products and

applications from video relay service will not be the only method for calling 9-1-1. Video

conferencing is also expanding. It is essential that individuals have direct access to 9-1-1 via

video (as well as audio, real-time text, text messaging, and data) using any application and

device.

Text communication via IP and various methodologies for cellular phones and land line

communications are being used more and more every day. TTYs continue to be a viable method

of communication for people with various disabilities. It is also essential that individuals have

direct access to 9-1-1 via text methods using any application and device.

An additional benefit of having direct video call to 9-1-1 is Telecommunicators will be able to

provide visual information on callers and their surroundings to first responders. This will help to

minimize frustration and problems for both callers and first responders, as well.

Like hearing callers, people with disabilities will be able to call 9-1-1 directly and have

Telecommunicators to connect the caller with a SLI or CA. Clear communication during times

of emergency is critical. However, many individuals may not be able to communicate

effectively due to their disabilities, injury or shock. Therefore, it is recommended that Media

Communication Line Services (MCLS) be established to facilitate effective communication for

people who need to contact NG9-1-1 in an emergency.

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APPENDIX A: NG9-1-1 PC33 Use Case 3: ASL Caller Requiring Video Remote

Interpreter (VRI)

NG9-1-1 PC3 Use Case 3:

ASL Caller requiring VRI

5

1

NG9-1-1

3

Provider

2

4

1.

ASL Video Emergency Call

2.

NG9-1-1 with video

3.

PSAP establishes PC3 with caller

4.

VRI is added to conference

5.

Centralized recording captures media from all endpoints

28

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APPENDIX B: Legacy 9-1-1 - Hearing person who speaks foreign language other than

English calls 9-1-1

When a hearing person calls, the Telecommunicator recognizes that s/he speaks another

language. The Telecommunicator will connect to a language services agency to provide

translation services, turning the call into a three-way conference call. The PSAP has a contract

with the language services agency.

Caller

PSAP

Language

Services

29

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APPENDIX C: Legacy 9-1-1: Video Relay Service (VRS) – Calling 9-1-1

A person calls VRS first and then interpreter call 9-1-1.

VRS providers have contracts with vendors that provide routing services to appropriate

PSAPs.

Video Interpreters call the routing service vendor first and give address to a live person

prior to connecting to PSAPs.

Calls can go through non-emergency, emergency or administrative lines rather than via

the 9-1-1 line. Telecommunicators have priority to respond to calls coming through 9-1-

1 line, so non-9-1-1 line calls can result in delayed responses.

The video interpreter relays communication between Telecommunicator and caller.

Routing

Services

PSAP

Caller

Video

Interpreter

30

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APPENDIX D: NG9-1-1: A person calls 9-1-1 using multimedia (caller profile)

When a person calls NG9-1-1, the signaling will reflect the desired communication mode,

language preference and a specific combination of media types, and then will connect to the

PSAP, engaging the Media Communication Line Service simultaneously. During the call set-up,

MCLS will be invoked automatically as necessary, and the Telecommunicator will receive the

caller profile at her/his station stating the type of communication mode the caller prefers prior to

answering the call. All three parties involved in the call will have video conferencing. There

will be different types of communication modalities involved depending on the need of the

callers. Examples are shown in Diagram E.

PSAP will record all media types involved in the conversations.

PSAP

9-1-1

Caller

Caller

Profile

Database

Media Communication Line

Service

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APPENDIX E: NG9-1-1: A person calls 9-1-1 using multimedia

When a person calls 9-1-1 via video or other types of media, the Telecommunicator recognizes

that the caller needs SLI or another type of assistance such as revoicers, and then connects to

MCLS (same concept as language services). The caller’s terminal will engage in a call, such as

video conferencing. There will be different types of communication modalities involved

depending on the needs of the callers. Examples are:

Deaf-Blind (DB) – interpreter will voice what DB signs and then Telecommunicator

responds by typing to DB who will read Large Print or Braille

Speech Disabled (SD) – interpreter will revoice what the SD says and then

Telecommunicator will talk directly to SD

Late Deafened (LD) or others who are learning ASL – LD will voice to

Telecommunicator and have interpreter to sign along with captions, or speechread the

interpreter

PSAP will record all media types involved in the conversations.

Caller

PSAP

Media

Communication

Line Service

32

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