Tucson, AZ– The Arizona Center for Disability Law (ACDL) was honored by the National Disability Rights Network, in Baltimore, Maryland for their work on implementing Text-to-911 services in the State of Arizona. In 2016, ACDL filed a lawsuit against various public entities, alleging they violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), by not providing Text-to-911 services to deaf or hard of hearing citizens. After months of collaboration, Text-to-911 launched this past April due to ACDL’s efforts between the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), Maricopa Region 911 and other public agencies working with members of the disability community, and the National Association of the Deaf.
Text-to-911 will allow people who are deaf, hard of hearing or who have a speech impairment to summon emergency services, report crimes and summon aid for others. This service can also be used by those who are in a situation where it may be too dangerous to call 911.
“Our staff worked tirelessly on this necessary lifesaving access issue, especially Legal Director, Rose Daly-Rooney, and Staff Attorneys Chris Carlsen and Asim Dietrich,” said J.J. Rico, Executive Director for ACDL.
Staff Attorney Asim Dietrich stated, “ACDL thanks NDRN for this award as recognition for the importance of Text-to-911 to provide people with disabilities direct and meaningful access to emergency services.”
Currently, only Lake Havasu City and Maricopa County have the Text-to-911 service.