The agreement on this matter has been signed by Prof. Ryszard Górecki – the Rector of UWM – and Artur Chojecki, Voivode of the Warmia and Mazury. The agreement stipulates that the University will provide the Emergency Notification Centre [Centrum Powiadamiania Ratunkowego] with a list of hearing-impaired people. On this basis, they will receive a free access to a SMS gateway with an application that allows notifying emergency services not by text, but by means of pictures. There are 18 images which correspond to the most common situations, e.g. fainting, fire, accident.
Why deaf and hard of hearing students received this tool?
In a crisis situation, such students are not able to write a text message that would be understandable for emergency services. An incomprehensible signal makes it impossible to undertake any rescue operations.
An additional advantage of the application is the fact that it provides an exact location of the person sending the SMS. As a result, the emergency services can quickly find the person. Those who register in the system and download the application also provide information on their medical conditions or methods of treatment which is a huge convenience for the rescuers in case of an accident.
However, only people associated with organizations for deaf people or, as in this case, with UWM can take advantage of the pictorial emergency SMS application. Why? Because 80% of 112 notifications are false alarms and the rescuers want to avoid the omission of the real ones.
- This is a very important agreement, an exemplar action for the benefit of the society. UWM helps deaf and hearing-impaired people. We have undertaken a number of actions to facilitate the learning process from them. The Gallaudet University in Washington (USA), which is the first and only university in the world for deaf people, is our role model – said the Rector.