UPDATED: Disabled people set to suffer as phone services go down

UPDATED: Disabled people set to suffer as phone services go down

National Relay Service to switch off nationwide as its only call centre is closed due to flooding

Update: As of 12pm Brisbane time on January 13, the National Relay Service has partially resumed standard services. However, the volume capacity of calls will be limited until Monday morning.

The NRS' temporary service is being based at Telstra's Mt Gravatt exchange.

The National Relay Service (NRS), which provides services to deaf and hearing or speech impaired people, has been shut due to flooding and will only handle specialised emergency calls. All of Australia will be affected.

According to a statement from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), the main NRS call centre in Brisbane was evacuated at 12pm Brisbane time due to the severe risk of flooding.

The centre provides important call services to all disabled users nationwide such as speak and listen calls and internet relay calls. Without these services, hearing and speech impaired people will find it almost impossible to communicate with people over the phone unless at least one party has specialised equipment.

In case of an emergency, speech or hearing impaired users are urged to contact 106 and communicate using the telephone typewriter (TTY) system. Only emergency calls will be allowed.

ACMA chairman, Chris Chapman, said the organisation was urgently seeking a location to host its backup server in a dry and operational location. There was no deadline set for the resumption of services.

For more information, visit The NRS website.

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Tags Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)Chris ChapmanBrisbane floodsttynational relay service

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