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Deaf people can now text message 911

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Manitobans with hearing or speech disabilities can now connect with 911 call centres.

MTS announced today that members of the deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or speech impaired (DHHSI) community will be able to communicate emergency situations to 911 call centres thanks to a new wireless text messaging program.

Text with 911 (T911), is the first of its kind in Canada.

"MTS is proud to offer Text with 9-1-1 across Manitoba," MTS president Kelvin Shepherd said in a statement. "We encourage all members of the DHSSI community to register their wireless devices so they can access this important service."

Text with 911 works like this: the DHHSI user must first register their wireless device with their provider for the service. Once the user dials 911 on their phone, the call centre receives a notification that the call is coming from a DHHSI user and initiates a text conversation with the user to address the emergency.

The program is supported by all wireless providers in Manitoba.

For more information, visit the website textwith911.ca.

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