The NEXES Workshop on Accessibility Raises Global Interest in Accessible Emergency Services
The NEXES Consortium announces that Mr. Wouter Bolier, representing Dovenschap, the Dutch Association for the Deaf, and Mrs. Sherrie Beaver, the Project Officer for the National Australian Sign Language (Auslan) Communication for Emergencies have expressed their interest in NEXES’s results towards introducing accessibility features in emergency services.
Mrs. Beaver is currently managing a project in Australia that aims to improve communication between emergency services and the deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing citizens who rely on Auslan during the preparatory, response and recovery stages of natural hazard emergencies. The findings of this project are valuable for NEXES’s development of accessibility features and their integration in next generation emergency services.
Mr. Bolier is now participating in the Dutch government study, headed by TNO, to discuss shortcomings of the national total conversation system implemented in 2015. NEXES was invited to contribute to this study, by presenting its expertise in the design and implementation of Total Conversation capabilities. The NEXES partner OMNITOR, represented by Mr. Gunnar Hellström, will be the designated NEXES’s specialist in Total Conversation processes, standards and tools, and a fruitful outcome is expected from this cooperation.
Marco Manso, Director of Innovation of RINICOM UK and Coordinator of NEXES, said, “We welcome the new advisors to the NEXES end-users community, which is expanding throughout the world. We believe that the cooperation model implemented in the NEXES End-Users Advisory Board is a strong value proposition for highly-qualified advisors seeking to explore the real opportunities offered by the next generation emergency services and these new advisors do embody it fully. The cooperation with the Australian project brings an external perspective to a common problem that is to improve communications between the disabled community and the emergency services. And the timing for the new Dutch government initiative is rather interesting, since it coincided with the NEXES Workshop on Accessibility. NEXES will be assisting them to review the status of their national total conversation system and propose improvement measures that make universal, democratic and accessible emergency services a reality.”.