GoCC4All logo: A tablet lays horizontally on an orange background. A cloud floats over the tablet. Inside the cloud, the word “go” is written in braille.

Making Emergency Alerts Accessible for All

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FEMA authorized Dicapta Foundation’s GoCC4All technology to access and disseminate emergency alerts

We are very pleased to announce that on June 11th the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) authorized Dicapta Foundation to access and disseminate emergency alerts using GoCC4All.  

GoCC4All is a technology developed by Dicapta Foundation and funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90IFDV0004-01-00). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The purpose of GoCC4All is to bring television captions as well as national and local emergency information, delivered through this media, to deaf-blind individuals.

Using GoCC4All, Dicapta Foundation will access FEMA's Integrated Public Alert & Warning System Open Platform for Emergency Networks (IPAWS-OPEN) to retrieve emergency alert information and then send it to its users’ mobile devices. 

IPAWS-OPEN is a system that integrates different U.S. emergency alert systems and  sends alerts to other entities that disseminate the information to the general public. These other entities include mobile providers, radio, tv, local alert systems, etc. The information that goes through IPAWS-OPEN is crucial to inform the general public about emergency situations.

Diagram showing IPAWS Architecture. IPAWS is a platform that receives alerts from different authorities and then sends them to alerts disseminator which in turn send them to the American people through different media.
IPAWS Architecture. Source: Federal Emergency Management Agency, https://www.fema.gov/pdf/emergency/ipaws/architecture_diagram.pdf

Dicapta Foundation's objective is to make emergency alerts available to deaf-blind individuals. Most of GoCC4All users may not even be aware of an emergency, because the alerts are not accessible to them in  the way they are sent. GoCC4All will send the alerts to the users’ mobile devices in a format that fits their needs: alerts can be read multiple times and be sent to a Braille display; and character’s size, color and speed can be changed. In addition, if users authorize capturing their name and location, in case of an emergency Dicapta Foundation will send this information to an emergency contact previously provided.

GoCC4All is now in a testing stage and Dicapta Foundation is going to take advantage of the nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) coming up on August 7th to do further testing of its technology with the alerts. 

We are very excited about Dicapta Foundation's possibility to provide this critical information to deaf-blind individuals.