Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Commentary | Open Access

Equal Access to Make Emergency Calls: A Case for Equal Rights for Deaf Citizens in Norway and Sweden

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Abstract:  It is stipulated that deaf citizens have equal right to use social services as other citizens. One social service is the access to make an emergency call. Deaf citizens who cannot hear and use a signed language to communicate have to make emergency calls in another way rather than relying on listening and speaking via a telephone. However, the possible ways to call are not the same for deaf citizens in all countries. This commentary shows that there are options dedicated for deaf citizens to make emergency alarms in both Norway and Sweden: via telephone typewriters, Short Message Service, and Video Relay Service, although the design of the respective options differs between the countries. However, it is argued that deaf citizens in Norway do not have equal access to make emergency alarms as other citizens in Norway, whereas the situation for deaf citizens in Sweden may be seen as equal compared to other citizens in Sweden, although there still are limitations.

Keywords:  alarm call; deaf; equal rights; interpreter; Short Message Service; signed language; SOS phone; telephone typewriters; Video Relay Service



© Camilla Warnicke. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.