As our knowledge is always evolving, we are also always looking to update our documents with the most current information. That is why we’re releasing the 2021 update of our document Emergency Services Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities.

Disability affects 15-20% of every country’s population: there are at least 650 million persons with disabilities worldwide[1]. It is therefore surprising and concerning that many emergency services are still not providing means of communication beyond traditional voice call.

The European Electronic Communications Code requires equivalent access to emergency services through emergency communications. The deadline for transposition of the text passed in December 2020. Our document explores these obligations that Member States must abide by and the solutions available to ensure access. It presents the functional requirements of effective solutions, including caller location, reliability, roaming and call-back, among others.

In the 2021 version, we have updated our insights to add the most current information on various topics, including on the use of Real-time Text. The document aims to highlight the importance of providing means to contact emergency services beyond voice, such as the use of video, text messaging and total conversation.