In­for­ma­tion pro­gram ex­pands

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON -

A pro­gram de­signed to give pro­vin­cial res­i­dents easy ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion on com­mu­nity and gov­ern­ment pro­grams and ser­vices is ex­pand­ing.

The 211 pro­gram is a not-for­profit phone and web-based ser­vice which res­i­dents can now ac­cess by text or chat.

The num­ber to text, from any mo­bile de­vice will be 21167 (the num­ber “67” cor­re­sponds to “NS” on a phone pad) and chat will be avail­able on the 211NS web­site — www.ns.211.ca .

The ser­vice was first launched in 2013 and has recorded over 100,000 phone calls and nearly 300,000 have ac­cessed in­for­ma­tion through the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s web­site.

“As soon as we rec­og­nized that mil­len­ni­als were un­der rep­re­sented in the pop­u­la­tion 211 serves, we knew it was time to re­think our com­mu­ni­ca­tions strat­egy,” said 211 Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Mike Myette, in a press re­lease.

“This move was crit­i­cal to en­sur­ing ev­ery­one is able to find the help they need when they need it.”

In ad­di­tion, 211 Nova Scotia has part­nered with Stu­dentsNS on a project to cre­ate aware­ness among univer­sity stu­dents.

“Stu­dents, es­pe­cially those from other prov­inces or coun­tries, can def­i­nitely ben­e­fit from hav­ing in­for­ma­tion about com­mu­nity ser­vices, and we hope adding 211 text and chat will make th­ese ser­vices even more ac­ces­si­ble,” said So­phie Hel­pard, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Stu­dentsNS.

The new de­vel­op­ments in the pro­gram come cour­tesy of fund­ing Cana­dian Wire­less Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions As­so­ci­a­tion (CWTA), and Bell Mo­bil­ity.

Frank O’Sul­li­van, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the So­ci­ety of Deaf and Hard of Hear­ing Nova Sco­tians, said the avail­abil­ity of chat and text will go a long way to en­hanc­ing ac­cess to ser­vice for deaf and hard of hear­ing res­i­dents.

The ser­vice is avail­able by phone 24/7 or on­line at www. ns.211.ca. In­ter­pre­ta­tion ser­vices are also avail­able in over 140 lan­guages. The ser­vice is also funded by the prov­ince and United Way or­ga­ni­za­tions in Cape Bre­ton, Pic­tou, Colch­ester, Cum­ber­land, Hal­i­fax and Lunen­burg.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit ns.211.ca or dial 211.

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