Parish 911 begins new TDD system

FRANKLINTON The Washington Parish Communications District announces the start up of its new TDD system to communicate with hearing and speech impaired citizens of the Parish. A TDD is a keyboard device that enables a hearing or speech impaired person to communicate over the telephone system.

The ability of this new equipment to automatically detect and answer TDD calls from the hearing impaired is especially timely, given recent actions by the Federal government to enforce minimum standards of service for hearing impaired citizens.

An improvement program is currently being implemented here in Washington Parish that includes the comprehensive training of all call takers in the use of TDDs and responding to deaf persons using abbreviations and terminology common to TDD calls.

The program also includes the implementation of new operating procedures designed to improve dispatcher response to emergency calls from the hearing and speech impaired.

Lastly, the program includes concerted efforts to reach out to the deaf and speech impaired community to inform them of these improvements to responding to emergency calls from TDDS.

All interested persons are invited to an open house today at the Washington Parish Communications District, 1007 Cleveland Street, Franklinton, at 7 p.m.

Representatives of all police agencies in the parish will be on hand to discuss their efforts to improve 911 services to hearing impaired citizens. Organizers said Valerie Patterson from the Deaf Action Center of the Northshore will also be in attendance to facilitate communications.

For additional information on 911 in Washington Parish, internet users may access http://www.wpcde-91 I.com .