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College adds texting line for hearing impaired students



Your Pasadena News
Saturday, September 6, 2014
Article Source

San Jacinto College is now implementing a texting service for hearing impaired students and other emergency situations.

“A few years ago, the only way we could communicate to hearing impaired students who needed assistance was by literally writing back and forth on a pad of paper,” said Annette Stewart, San Jacinto College campus police telecommunications coordinator. “Sometimes they’d type out text messages on their phones and pass those back and forth. That gave us an idea to have an emergency texting service available. Now we have a dedicated phone line used for these texts requesting campus police assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Hearing impaired students can text 713-469-1071 to receive emergency assistance.

In addition to the new texting service, all three San Jacinto College campuses have Code Blue emergency phones installed in campus parking lots. These have been available since 1999. In 2012, video surveillance cameras were installed in campus parking lots as well as the district parking lot in order to enhance safety and provide documentation of activity occurring in the public spaces of the College. All San Jacinto College students, faculty, and staff have also been encouraged to save the College’s campus police direct emergency phone number, 281-476-9128, into their personal cell phones for any campus emergency.

This newest addition of an emergency texting line gives hearing impaired students a faster option to communicate with campus police directly from their location rather than having to go directly to their campus station. Once campus police receive the information, they can also notify a campus sign language interpreter to accompany them to the student’s location.

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