TDI (formally known as Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing) is a national advocacy organization focused on equal access issues in telecommunications and media. Every two years, TDI recognizes various individuals, organizations and corporations for their efforts to promote equal access to telecommunications, media and information technologies.
TDI’s Robert H. Weitbrecht Telecommunications Access Award is bestowed on individuals who’ve made outstanding contributions to improve accessibility to telecommunications and media in the U.S. I’d like to congratulate Richard Ray and Donna Platt as recent recipients of this award. As a lifetime advocate for equal access to 9-1-1 and a proud recipient of the TDI award, I’ve had the pleasure of working with many individuals who share my passion that no individual be denied access to emergency services.
Richard has spent his entire career advocating for equal rights. He is the ADA Compliance Coordinator for the City of Los Angeles Department on Disability and has helped jurisdictions across the country with various issues and projects such as Emergency Notification Systems, Personal Caller Information, VRS/IP Relay Service, and Text to 9-1-1. He became a member of the NENA Accessibility Committee, and I was thrilled when the late NENA President Bill McMurray appointed Richard to chair the committee in 2006.
Donna Platt was asked to join NENA and jumped at the chance to serve on the NENA Accessibility Committee. In 2007, NENA advanced their committee structure and Donna became co-chair with Richard. Donna trained Washington State’s 9-1-1 professionals under a contract with the Community Service Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CSCDHH), and now is the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator with the NC Division of Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She, too, has shared her expertise with emergency communication professionals across the country.
Together, these two have been unafraid to take the issues head on and have garnered the respect of 9-1-1 professionals nationwide. Both are recognized leaders serving various roles with the FCC and other entities, and I could not be prouder that these two amazing people have been recognized for all their hard work. Congratulations Richard and Donna!
Toni Dunne, ENP, is Manager of External Affairs at Intrado.