Accessible Wireless Emergency Communications Forum

Federal Communications Commission
Friday, November 7, 2014
9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
For the agenda see

The FCC announced it will hold a forum Nov. 7 to promote the latest advances in accessible wireless emergency communications, including text-to-911. The event will engage technology designers, engineers and policy makers to raise awareness of the needs of people with disabilities prior to developing devices and services that can be used in and during emergencies, with the goal of saving more lives and enabling quicker responses to natural and manmade disasters.

Morning session panels will bring together bring together government and disability technology experts to share the latest research and development activities for accessible emergency communications, alerts and notifications.

The afternoon session will include an FCC presentation on the status of its text-to-911 rules, followed by a report from wireless carriers and public safety officials on their progress in rules implementation. Representatives of consumers with disabilities will then discuss their public education and outreach efforts and provide suggestions to government and industry for their roles.

Panel 1: Government strategies to ensure accessible alerts and communications
Moderator: Cheryl J. King, FCC/CGB/Disability Rights Office (DRO)

  • Gregory Cooke, FCC/Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB)
  • Charles McCobb, FEMA Integrated Public Alert & Warning Systems (IPAWS)
  • Gay Jones, FEMA Office of Disability Integration and Coordination (ODIC)
  • Richard Ray, ADA Technology Access Coordinator, City of Los Angeles, CA
  • Robyn Powell, National Council on Disability

Panel 2: Disability strategies for research and action in the field
Moderator: Suzy Rosen Singleton, FCC/CGB/DRO

  • Donna Platt, NC Division of Services for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing
  • Norman Williams, Gallaudet University – Technology Access Program
  • Bill Belt, Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)
  • Helena Mitchell, GA Tech – Center for Advanced Communications Policy
  • Kay Chiodo, Deaf Link, Inc.

Panel 3: What it is and what it isn’t – SMS Texting to 911 call centers, known as PSAPs
Moderator: David Furth, FCC/PSHSB Deputy Bureau Chief

  • Tim May, FCC/PSHSB Policy and Licensing Division
  • Brian Fontes, National Emergency Number Association (NENA)
  • Mary Boyd, Intrado
  • Tim Lorello, TeleCommunication Systems (TCS)
  • Matt Gerst, CTIA, The Wireless Association
  • Rebecca Murphy Thompson, Competitive Carriers Association (CCA)
  • Jeff Cohen, APCO International

Panel 4: Public education and outreach [how to, what can be done and by whom]
Moderator: Greg Hlibok, FCC/CGB/DRO

  • Laurie Flaherty, DOT/NHTSA Coordinator, National 911 Program
  • Andrew Phillips, National Association of the Deaf (NAD)
  • Lise Hamlin, Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)
  • Cheryl Heppner, Deaf & Hard of Hearing Consumer Advocacy Network
  • Roger Hixson, NENA Technical Issues Director
  • Sheri Griffith Powell, Telecommunications Specialist, Chair, NENA NG9-1-1 Education and Training Committee