RapidSOS and the Center for Hearing and Communication collaborate to provide mobile safety and security
48 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss, which can make communication with emergency dispatchers difficult
Haven represents a transformation in access to emergency services – from a phone call solely dependent on voice to a robust data connection for voice, text, medical/demographic data
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – New York City (July 7, 2016).
RapidSOS, an advanced emergency technology start-up revolutionizing personal safety and connectivity. RapidSOS will offer CHC clients one year of free access to Haven, providing enhanced access to emergency services for individuals with hearing loss.
Text messages: Haven speaks the text message if the dispatch center does not have the capability to receive texts. Currently works one-way (user to 9-1-1); two-way coming in future
Type of emergency
Relevant medical and demographic data
When setting up the app, users conveniently enter medical conditions, allergies, and medications, so that life-saving information is communicated directly to 9-1-1 when the app is used to trigger an alert. Haven’s “Can’t Speak” function allows users to notify 9-1-1 that they cannot speak and/or have difficulty hearing. When a user taps “Can’t Speak,” their location and relevant information is automatically transmitted to the dispatcher, without the need for a verbal conversation. The user can then send text messages to 9-1-1 to further explain their emergency. While currently, only 6% of dispatch centers have the technology to receive text messages, Haven enables universal texting by speaking (text-to-speech) the text message.
“It is vitally important that anyone can communicate clearly with 9-1-1 dispatchers, regardless of hearing loss or auditory challenges,” said RapidSOS co-founder and CEO Michael Martin. “We are passionate about connecting members of the community to the help they need to communicate reliably with emergency services.”
The Haven app also includes access to RapidSOS’ Family Connect feature, which can be a unique asset for college students. For the first time, people can call 9-1-1 on behalf of a loved one, transmitting their loved one’s location and relevant data directly to the dispatch center closest to them. Additionally, Family Connect allows users to share their location with loved ones, see family members’ real-time locations without the distraction of a phone call or text, and easily ask family and friends for help. A user can choose who can see their location and when it is shared, ensuring privacy and control.
“This collaboration with RapidSOS brings important value to individuals with hearing loss,” said Laurie Hanin, CHC Executive Director. “Clear communication is rarely more important than during an emergency, and Haven provides peace of mind that those with hearing loss will be able to reliably communicate with 9-1-1 personnel.”
RapidSOS is offering Haven free to those associated with CHC for one year, if they sign up here. The Haven app is available for iPhone and Android devices and works anywhere across the contiguous U.S. and Hawaii, with one touch emergency calling in over 250 countries and jurisdictional territories. For more information about RapidSOS and the Haven app, visit www.rapidsos.com.
RapidSOS was formed in 2012 by a team of M.I.T., Harvard, and Stanford grad students who had personal experiences with the challenges of the existing emergency communication infrastructure. Working closely with the 9-1-1 community, tech and telecom companies, and leading investors, RapidSOS is developing technology to predict and preempt emergencies before they occur, dynamically warn people in harm’s way, and ensure that first responders are one touch away globally. Learn more at www.RapidSOS.com
Contact: Regina Jaslow firstname.lastname@example.org (347) 879-0024
About the Center for Hearing and Communication
The Center for Hearing and Communication (CHC) provides life-affirming hearing healthcare to over 20,000 people annually. CHC is committed to improving the quality of life for children and adults with all degrees of hearing loss and listening and auditory challenges.
Contact: Laurie Hanin email@example.com 917-305-7760
 National 911 Program. Review of Nationwide 911 Data Collection. http://www.911.gov/pdf/current911datacollection-072613.pdf
 Hearing Loss Association of America. http://www.hearingloss.org/content/basic-facts-about-hearing-loss
 National 911 Program. State of 911 Webinar. http://www.911.gov/pdf/Stateof911webinar_December2015.pdf