Hearing impaired cut off from aid
HEARING impaired people were unable to call a special emergency phone service at the height of the Queensland floods, a report has found.
The National Relay Service in Brisbane was disrupted for almost 24 hours on January 12 as floodwaters inundated its main office.
During that time, some callers were unable to call emergency services on the disability phone service, the report by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network found.
‘‘ As a result there would be significant disruptions to the services pro- vided by the National Relay Service right across the country,’’ it said.
The consumer group has recommended moving the NRS to an area less prone to floods or other natural disaster risks.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority said the service’s office in Brisbane had to be evacuated because of concerns for staff safety.
Text message-based emergency services were not interrupted.
Still, media authority chairman Chris Chapman said his agency and the federal Communications Department were examining the report.