REACH112 (REsponding to All Citizens needing Help) will implement an accessible alternative to traditional voice telephony that will be suitable for all. While people with disabilities find it hard to communicate with the existing solutions, REACH112 will provide modes of communication so that they will find a way to communicate in each situation, may it be with a live real-time text conversation, with sign language, with lip reading, with voice or with any simultaneous combination of these modes described by the concept of Total Conversation. The service will be of benefit for all.
Meanwhile, there is an urgent need to improve access to emergency services for people with disabilities in the EU. REACH112 will implement a 12-month pilot in Sweden, UK, The Netherlands, France and Spain allowing disabled users to communicate at a distance with each other and directly with the emergency services. IP devices will be provided in the homes, workplaces and on the move, connecting the users simultaneously in video, voice and text. Users will be able to connect between countries and different service providers, on mobile and fixed IP networks. They will also connect through a third-party service (relay) with voice telephone users. The service will be integrated with existing telecommunication platforms and emergency service frameworks. Additionally, a protocol for the exchange of information between emergency services will be made available so that relevant data can be transferred to the most appropriate emergency service.
REACH112 will therefore become a blueprint for the extension of IP-based communications, Total Conversation and emergency services in the EU. It will guide the improvements of communication between all citizens – in particular those with disabilities – as well as the accessibility and call handling of all EU emergency services.
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