accesSOS is a tech nonprofit on a mission to make emergency help accessible.
Imagine this - you’re in a life-threatening situation, desperately needing to call 911 for help, but the system isn't designed to accommodate your communication needs.
This terrifying situation became a reality for Dr. William Wong, an Ohlone College Professor who is Deaf. He nearly lost his life due to a potential gallbladder rupture.
Picture this scene: he's in excruciating pain, frantically texting his [lifeline] daughter to call 911, but she's not near her phone. With no other option, he drives to the ER, barely looking over the steering wheel, risking a car accident at any moment. As he shares his harrowing experience with NBC, tears fill his eyes. This is the trauma and emotional distress of not being able to access emergency services.
Gabriella Wong founded accesSOS to address this injustice. Shockingly, only 49% of 911 centers accept text messages. This leaves over 37 million Americans, including the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, nonverbal individuals, non-English speakers, and those with speech delays at a disadvantage during emergencies. Even victims of domestic violence can't safely seek help.
Taxes should mean equal safety and emergency care for all citizens. Yet, it’s unjust that so many Americans are excluded from the 911 system based on their communication abilities.
Recent incidents emphasize the urgent need for accessibility, including:
Despite the evidence, officials continue to dismiss this accessibility issue, claiming the system already has text-to-911 capabilities or suggesting outdated TTY phones. This attitude perpetuates the idea that accessibility is an afterthought, leaving many feeling invisible and insignificant.
We cannot stand by and let this continue.
accesSOS has endorsed the reintroduction of the Communications, Video, and Technology Accessibility Act (CVTA) in July 2023 by Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Representative Anna Eshoo of California. This bill further advances equitable access to emergency services through real-time text.
We call upon the government to pass the CVTA bill and make it the federal law by mandating accessibility in Text to 911 emergency services.
Please donate for our ongoing efforts to fight for 911 accessibility, and sign the petition. If you prefer to donate via check, please make it payable to accesSOS and mail it to:
1012 Torney Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94129
Thank you for your support!
accesSOS, EIN 84-2489856, is a registered nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.