NEXES Fosters Accessible Emergency Products and Services

Next Generation Emergency Services at the EC Workshop on Accessibility of Products and Services

The NEXES achievements on the successful implementation of the Total Conversation capabilities, combining voice and video calls and real-time text messaging, was a central theme at the Workshop on Accessibility of Products and Services organised by the European Commission’s DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion on February 2nd and 3rd 2017, at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Brussels.

The high-level policy Workshop was sponsored with the ambition to prepare the adoption of the EU Accessibility Act and promote the implementation of accessibility measures in general. Represented by Gunnar Hellström (Omnitor) and Johan Verstraete (European Union of the Deaf), the NEXES Consortium delivered a presentation and made a detailed demonstration of NEXES’s next generation emergency services capabilities, namely video calls and real-time texting, providing new communication tools for citizens to reach emergency services. This demonstration was particularly helpful to highlight the usefulness of the new emergency communication technologies, as a citizen used the NEXES App to establish an emergency call using audio, real-time text and video channels with the Windows-based NEXES PSAP workstation. In cases where the citizen requiring assistance is deaf, the opportunity to use real-time texting or video (for sign language) can save precious time. In addition, the demonstration underlined the beyond state-of-the-art location information provided by NEXES to emergency services, contributing to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the whole emergency response.

NEXES achievements to ensure a more universal, democratic and inclusive emergency service were duly recognised by an audience of 150 policy-makers from the European Commission, the European Parliament and the US Federal Communications Commission. Commissioner Marianne Thyssen and the deaf MEP Helga Stevens particularly emphasised the impressive level of seriousness and technological advance exhibited by NEXES. Overall, the Workshop on Accessibility of Products and Services was a relevant dissemination opportunity for NEXES to encourage the broad adoption of advanced communication and information technologies by emergency services for society’s benefit.

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