MEMBER for Gympie David Gibson is celebrating a victory after the Federal Government announced an SMS emergency service for the hearing and speech impaired.
Mr Gibson has been campaigning on behalf of the deaf community for the last two years for this vital service.
“I am pleased that the Federal Government is finally listening to the silent cries for help and doing something about this safety black spot,” said Mr Gibson.
“People who are deaf and hard of hearing are currently limited to a computer or the Telephone Typewriter (TTY) service when calling for emergency services.
“This service is needed most when someone who is hearing impaired is out in the community and they don’t have easy access to these devices handy.
“Coming from a family where both my parents are deaf, it is difficult to describe the frustration communicating with others, let alone trying to communicate when you are in an emergency.
“Now that the Minister has made the right noises, I am looking forward to the introduction of the service as a matter of priority.
“What concerns me is that the deaf community will remain at risk until this essential service is widely available.”
Mr Gibson was the first MP ever to use sign language in the Queensland Parliament when he made his maiden speech in 2006.
As a result of his personal experience he has championed deaf issues in the Queensland Parliament.