Access to emergency services for people with disabilities had been a requirement of EU Member States since 2009, although there is still much progress to be made on the way to true equal access.
However, technologies that aim to improve accessibility to emergency services continue to be developed and this week, a new app is being launched in The Netherlands to help people with speech and language difficulties use the 112 emergency hotline.
The new 112NL app allows people to directly communicate with the control room through text messaging and shares their location so help can be sent to where they are.
Additionally, the app features a translation facility that allows messages in more than 100 languages to be converted into Dutch.
The app was created through the collaboration of the patients’ association HoofdHals, various other organisations and the Ministry of Justice.