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Disability Rights Arizona Honored for Their Work in Bringing Text to 9-1-1 Services to Arizona

Accessibility, Effective Communication
for Immediate Release

The Disability Rights Arizona (DRAZ), formerly Arizona Center for Disability Law (ACDL), was honored by the National Disability Rights Network, in Baltimore, Maryland on June 19 for their work on implementing Text to 9-1-1 services in the State of Arizona.

In 2016, DRAZ filed a lawsuit against various public entities, alleging they violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), by not providing Text to 9-1-1 services to deaf or hard of hearing citizens.

After months of collaboration, Text to 9-1-1 launched this past April due to DRAZ’s efforts between the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), Maricopa Region 9-1-1 and other public agencies working with members of the disability community, and the National Association of the Deaf.

Text to 9-1-1 will allow people who are deaf, hard of hearing or who have a speech impairment to summon emergency services, report crimes, and summon aid for others. This service can also be used by those who are in a situation where it may be too dangerous to call 9-1-1. Texting is a safer and now a viable option.

“Our staff worked tirelessly on this necessary lifesaving access issue, especially Legal Director, Rose Daly-Rooney, Staff Attorneys Chris Carlsen, and Asim Dietrich,” said J.J. Rico, Executive Director for DRAZ.

Staff Attorney, Asim Dietrich stated, “DRAZ thanks NDRN for this award as recognition for the importance of Text to 9-1-1 to provide people with disabilities direct and meaningful access to emergency services.”

Currently, only Lake Havasu City and Maricopa County have the Text to 9-1-1 service.


Over 30 years, DRAZ has worked to advance the rights of Arizonans with disabilities to promote and protect their legal rights to independence, justice, and equality.

At DRAZ, our vision is clear: to help people with disabilities understand and exercise their rights under the law, ensure their full and equal rights, and to also be the place where a diverse mix of talented people want to come, to stay and do their best work serving our clients. We envision a society where all people with disabilities enjoy full acceptance without barriers.