Advocates Urge FCC To Make Suicide Hotline More Accessible

Law360 (October 21, 2020, 2:14 PM EDT) -- A group of disability advocates, including the National Association of the Deaf, asked the Federal Communications Commission to consider requiring carriers to support texts to the 988 nationwide three-digit suicide hotline by 2022 in order to increase accessibility to hard-of-hearing and speech-disabled individuals.

In a petition submitted late last week, the groups asked the FCC to revise its July order implementing the suicide hotline to mandate that text-to-988 capabilities be available by July 16, 2022 — the same deadline that voice services providers have to transmit all 988 calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

The groups said the change would enable...

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