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14/04/2016

835 deaf people requested the special number of 112

BE - It allows them to initiate a conversation via SMS with emergency services.


Belgium - It is difficult, or rather impossible, to be understood by telephone when one is deaf and mute. And it can become very annoying in an emergency or imminent danger. But for a bit more than a year, the 112 service (and other numbers such as 100 or 101)  decided to set up a special number dedicated to the people hard-of-hearing or suffering from a speech impediment. It allows them to communicate with the emergency services via SMS. To prevent misuse, this number is only available on request.

Since its launch, 835 people have already applied. It needs to be mentioned that before, the only way for them to communicate with the 112 service was to send a fax (whose number remains available today).

But despite the existence of this solution, the 112 service recommends using, if possible, the voice call in priority rather than SMS (if the hearing impaired person is accompanied, for example). "Through an oral questionnaire, the operator can react quickly. The regular voice call also allows operators to provide medical assistance and provide, for example, resuscitation instructions."

Read more (in French)