Renowned national call captioning provider launches groundbreaking new feature to reach hard-of-hearing communities
ClearCaptions new feature: Emergency Alert System
A preview of the ClearCaptions Emergency Alert System interface — A lifesaving feature created specially for our customers who are hard of hearing.
ROSEVILLE, Calif., Dec. 18, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — ClearCaptions is proud to announce the launch of their pioneering emergency alert system feature. In the spirit of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) efforts to ensure that safety alerts are accessible to all, ClearCaptions has delivered a solution to reach seniors and individuals who are hard of hearing who may not receive emergency alerts through other channels. This new feature uses bright flashing lights and loud alerts to deliver text-based emergency weather notifications from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). These FEMA alerts are connected to the customers’ home addresses and deliver timely warnings of nearby weather-related emergencies directly to their ClearCaptions Phones, bridging a critical gap in existing emergency alert infrastructure.
Emergency alerts are proven to save lives. According to research that evaluated weather-related incidents in the past 15 years, there was a 10% difference in lives saved when compared to the same period prior to the launch of FEMA’s emergency alert system (IPAWS) in 2006. Additionally, FEMA’s Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system has been used more than 70,000 times to warn the public about dangerous weather and other critical situations.
“Hard of hearing individuals, especially those who are seniors, have less access to something we all take for granted – the ability to receive and understand emergency alerts. Since they are hard of hearing, they cannot rely on typical weather radios that use sounds and audio messaging. They are also less likely to have a mobile phone, which is the primary source of text-based messaging. We are filling a long-overdue need for people with varying degrees of hearing loss,” said Robert Rae, ClearCaptions’ CEO. “Our solution uses our existing in-home devices, which were designed to overcome hearing difficulties through bright lights, loud sounds and large, easy to read captioned messaging designed for our senior customers. This new feature provides functional equivalency to the emergency alert services that hearing people receive. We firmly believe this should become an industry standard, enabling equal access to life-saving information for all.”
The importance of ensuring the safety of these at-risk communities cannot be overstated. This new feature brings connectivity and security to those who are underserved by existing emergency alert systems. ClearCaptions serves more than 100,000 hard of hearing customers – most of them seniors and over the age of 75. Studies have shown that this group is less likely to adopt mobile phones that typically have the emergency alert feature.
“We are working to deliver the option of these alerts to all of our customers over the next year,” said Rae. “For now, we have made it available to approximately 1/3 of our customers.”
As ClearCaptions moves forward with this innovative rollout, the goal is clear: to ensure these at-risk communities receive timely, accurate and life-saving alerts, ultimately promoting their independence and safety.
ClearCaptions, LLC., established in 2011, is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) certified Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service Provider. The service provides near real-time transcriptions of spoken phone conversations into text captions, made visible to the user during an active call. Available on our specially designed home phones and on mobile devices – iPhone® and iPad® – the service, which is funded through a federally managed program, is provided at no charge to qualified registered consumers through Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). To learn more about ClearCaptions and our captioning service, visit clearcaptions.com.
Vice President of Marketing
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/8dfdfa9e-e0ae-4d2c-9820-0899a4a44ed2