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App launched to help people with speech difficulties contact 112

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A new app has been developed to help people with speech and language difficulties use the 112 emergency hotline. The 112NL app allows people to communicate directly with the control room by text message and gives their location so help can be sent to their home. The developers say it will also help those with hearing problems or who have difficulty speaking Dutch or English.

The idea for the app came from Dini Zegelaar from Nijmegen, who has a stammer, after her landlady fell ill one night and she was unable to talk to her local doctor’s surgery. ‘I went to the doctor the next day and asked why he didn’t come. He said he thought I was drunk and it was a joke,’ she told Omroep Gelderland.
Her landlady later recovered.

Patients’ association HoofdHals worked with other organisations and the ministry of justice to create the app, which is being launched this week. It also has a translation facility that allows messages in more than 100 languages to be converted into Dutch. ‘So if you’re from Afghanistan you can chat in your own language,’ Zegelaar said.

To download the app go to: Google Play Store

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    Ankita Deshkar

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