Valencia Enterprises contracted IDEAS Learning to build an interactive online tutorial and an interactive simulation to train 911 operators how to handle TDD equipment calls from the deaf and from those with limited ability to speak. The course is offered online so employees of 911 agencies across the United States can practice their skills and recertify every six months (which is recommended the Americans with Disabilities Act). The course complies with the NENA (National Emergency Number Association) standards.
In the first module, “Malia’s Story,” the learner watches a short video of a member of the deaf community as she tells her story and appeals to the learners to pay attention…because what they are about to learn may indeed save her life one day! The second module, “The Caller’s World,” allows the learners to explore the physical limitations and capabilities of each of their individual TDD callers, the culture that may influence the way they communicate, and the fundamentals of American Sign Language (ASL). They complete an interactive assignment and practice the ASL format so they will better understand how to communicate with those who “speak” this language. After completing the last module, The TDD Call, the learner is able to describe the different kinds of TDD equipment and how each operates, recognize a TDD tone, use the correct protocol to handle a TDD call, transfer a TDD call to another agency, complete a TDD call back, and properly use a Telephone Relay Service.
At the completion of the tutorial, the learners must demonstrate their ability and skill to handle the calls. They complete up to 10 call scenarios from callers from the deaf community in a simulated environment…where nobody gets hurt!