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Special Project

Special Project
From the 12th Annual Shorty Awards

Deaf 911

Audience Honor in Health & Medical


Providing quick accessibility for the more than 38.5 million deaf and hard-of-hearing people to 911 emergency services is the unmet need that Deaf 911 fulfills. For this group of more than 10% of the US population, communicating over the phone during an emergency can be extremely challenging. While texting on mobile smartphones has opened doors for the deaf, they have limited options when it comes to calling for help. Text-to-911 only exists in less than 1/10 of the country. Relay-operator calls that utilize third-party interpreters take at least three minutes. Teletypewriters weighing approximately 10 pounds take more than eight minutes. Precious moments can mean the difference between life and death during a heart attack, robbery, domestic abuse incident or natural disaster. No technological solution currently exists that allows the deaf to call 911 in a timely and affordable manner—until now.

Strategy and Execution

Deaf 911. The emergency mobile app that gives the deaf a voice brings life-saving possibilities of the mobile digital age into the hands the millions of people in the United States. With its unique application of speech-to-text and text-to-speech technology, the deaf can call and speak directly to 911. And 911 can text back. And it does so in real-time, in just 30 seconds—roughly the same amount of time as it does for hearing people. The iOS and Android app can also provide quick response to questions with the help of smart reply messaging. By researching the most common responses, our messaging options save even more valuable seconds by replacing actual texting with a simple tap, or two. And location details are also delivered immediately. Its design and features create a much-needed tool that allows the deaf to increase speed and stability greatly needed in emergency situations.


The app is designed to work with existing voice-dependent 911 call centers, emergency operations centers (EOC) and public safety answering points (PSAP) throughout the US requiring no adjustment on their end. Supported by those on the forefront of deaf tech innovation, the emergency mobile app that gives the deaf a voice is currently in development to expand into multi-language capabilities. With its capacity to dramatically reduce the time-called for emergency services, we expect the following outcomes post launch: • 2-10% reduction in mortality • 6.9% reduction in emergency-related healthcare costs • 20% reduction in property damage


Video for Deaf 911

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, St. Ann's Church & Community for the Deaf


Entry Credits