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ICE 5: Accessibility to Emergency Services

ICE 5 Final Results 

 

Click here to read the NENA ICE 5 press release. Click here to download a PDF copy.

NENA held the Industry Collaboration Event #5 (ICE 5) the week of October 15, 2012 in Wheaton, Illinois, at the Illinois Institute of Technology, School of Applied Technology, Real-Time Communications Lab. The focus of the event was emergency services and solutions that directly support access to NG9-1-1 for people with disabilities (e.g., deaf, hard-of-hearing, speech-impaired, etc.). Vendors who have developed (or are currently developing) products designed for use by people with disabilities as they contact emergency services in a Next Generation 9-1-1 environment participated in the event testing activities.

 

While previous ICE events have focused more on the internal workability of the NG9-1-1 functions and interfaces, ICE-5 provided vendors with an opportunity to demonstrate and test various originating and terminating devices for usability within the NG9-1-1 environment. The inclusion of "calling” device features and their interface functionality broadened the scope of ICE 5 beyond that of typical ICE tests held previously, allowing for participation by a wider audience than has been possible in previous ICE test series. ICE 5’s proceedings were further enhanced by the presence of representatives of the hearing impaired community at the test. The co-chairs of the NENA Accessibility Committee attended the event and witnessed some of the tests.

 

The standards associated with this area are evolving and this ICE incorporated many different technologies and a variety of different protocols and techniques in its tests. Testing covered a range of subjects that included:

  • Testing of methods for handling text messages within the i3 architecture
  • Location determination for non-voice emergency calling
  • Demonstration of multi-party video teleconferencing (caller, interpreter, PSAP)
  • Efficiently sending video using NG9-1-1 call routing techniques
  • Application of video compression algorithms that are intended to maintain adequate clarity to understand a person communicating with sign language
  • Demonstration of non-TTY devices accessing NG9-1-1 and transmitting data (e.g., real-time text application, TTY emulation, captioned telephone, etc.
  • Testing of legacy TTY devices connected to an ESInet
  • Basic Border security testing using the BCF, a first for this type of testing at ICE
  • Recording and retrieval of non-voice data by NG recording solutions

This was the most complex ICE event ever undertaken. It culminated in a successful multi-vendor testing process, resulting in heightened awareness and recognition of the requirements necessary for access to 9-1-1 by all persons. The twenty-two companies involved evaluated various voice, text and video calls. Among other findings, the participants determined that end-to- end testing of the "call chain” is essential for optimal performance of NG9-1-1. This type of testing is required in order to ensure that future deployments of the technology tested can provide the necessary reliability, stability, compatibility and call quality over all the media types required to enable accessibility to NG9-1-1 for people with disabilities as well as access using multimedia in general.

 


 

 

ICE 5 Preliminary Info

The theme of ICE 5 is emergency services for individuals who are deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing or have a speech disability.  The standards are evolving on this subject and, unto itself; this topic could incorporate many different technologies and a variety of different protocols and techniques. Testing may range from a method for handling text messages within the i3 context to a manner of efficiently sending video using NG9-1-1 call routing techniques.

ICE 5 is being held at Illinois Institute of Technology and is now closed to additional participants.  A summary report will be issued after the event is completed and results are finalized.

More information on ICE:
  • Delaine Arnold– NENA ICE Testing Coordination Manager - 813.960.1698
  • Roger Hixson– NENA Technical Issues Director - 614.442.9110
  • Ty Wooten – NENA Director of Education & Operational Issues

ICE 5 Participants

  • Wolfgang Kampichler – Frequentis (Chair)
  • Brian Knueppel – ACME Packet (Vice-Chair)
  • Jay Malin - Agent511
  • Ian Colville - Aculab
  • Brooks Shannon - BullBerry
  • Ameel Kamboh - Cassidian
  • Michael Smith - DSS
  • Helmut (Hal) Koch - EXACOM
  • Robert Bowman - HigherGround
  • Mark Grady - INdigital
  • Christian Militeau - Intrado
  • Philip Reichl - Moducom
  • Dave Staub - NESS/Assure911
  • Dave Higton - NICE
  • Gunnar Hellstrom - Omnitor
  • Gilles Ferland - Solacom
  • Simon Farrow - Stancil
  • Patrick Voigt - Synergem
  • Jeff Knighton - Voiceriver
  • Christian Vogler - RERC on Telecommunications Access (University of WI-Madison & Gallaudet University)
  • Delaine Arnold  – Secretary to the Planning Committee

Planning Committee Charter

 

The NENA NG9-1-1 Industry Collaboration Events (ICE) Steering Committee has formed the ICE-5 Planning Committee to test 9-1-1 Emergency Services for individuals who are deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing or have a speech disability. This proposed charter outlines the purpose, goals, and possible areas of focus for this ICE event, in order to evaluate the interest from the vendor community and estimate levels of participation. As with previous ICE events, the planning and execution will be the responsibility of a Planning Committee. This document provides the basis for the guidance that would be provided to the Planning Committee, once this ICE event has been approved by the Steering Committee.

 

While previous ICE events have more focused on the internal workability of the NG9-1-1 functions and interfaces, ICE-5 has an opportunity for vendors to also demonstrate and test various originating and terminating devices for usability within the NG9-1-1 environment. Including a focus on "calling” device features and its interface functionality broadens the scope of the typical ICE, allowing for future exposure and participation by a wider audience.

 

Mission Statement:

 

The NENA ICE-5 event will focus on vendors who have developed (or are currently developing) products designed for people with disabilities as they contact emergency services in a Next Generation 9-1-1 environment. Providing the ability for these vendors to test their products in an open, supportive, and collaborative environment, fosters a spirit of technical cooperation and improves vendors’ abilities to bring high-quality products to market.

 

Goals:

 

Plan and execute an event that:

 

  1. Attracts and encourages the widest possible participation of vendors that have products in the focus area (even those outside of the traditional 9-1-1 marketplace).
  2. Allows all participating vendors to test all valid architectures and configurations requested.
  3. Delivers relevant feedback on standards to the appropriate NENA Technical Committee(s) and may identify gaps in existing standards work.
  4. Allows vendors to better understand the interoperability between their implementations and products developed by other vendors.
  5. Allows for the gathering of relevant results data that will be reported to the NENA Technical Committees, to other SDOs, and, at a high level, to all interested parties, all in formats appropriate to the audience in question.

 

 

ICE-5 Focus Areas:

 

ICE-5 primarily focuses solutions that directly support access to NG911 for people with disabilities (e.g., deaf, hard-of-hearing, speech-impaired, etc.) Envisioned tests could include, but are not limited to:

 

  • Novel approaches to location determination for non-voice emergency calling
  • Demonstration of multi-party video teleconferencing (caller, interpreter, PSAP)
  • Application of video compression algorithms that maintain adequate clarity to understand a person communicating with sign language (http://www.itu.int/rec/T-REC-H.Sup1-199905-I)
  • Demonstration of non-TTY devices accessing NG911 and transmitting data (e.g., real-time text application, TTY emulation, captioned telephone, etc. (www.realtimetext.org may provide vendors with a compatible UA)
  • Testing of legacy TTY devices connected to an ESInet (perhaps including in-band/out-of-band, packet loss?
  • Methods of protecting new access methods against fraudulent use / misuse, or from intentional overload
  • Recording and retrieval of non-voice data by the recording vendors

 

 

The following areas have been explicitly excluded from ICE-5 testing:

 

  • (nothing at this time)

 

 

Required Functional Elements:

 

  • UAs
  • PSAP CPE
  • ESRP
  • ECRF
  • LVF
  • LNG
  • LPG
  • BCF
  • LIS
  • Active Recording/Logging that focuses on media streams (TTY, texting – SIP Origination). Include any other protocol that is found necessary because SIP and RTP are not appropriate.

 

(c) 2013-14 NENA - National Emergency Number Association, Alexandria, VA
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