User Needs Group Status Report to the Commercial Mobile Service Alert Advisory Committee May 16, 2007 Gary K Jones, UNG Deputy Chair
UNG Mission • The primary mission of the User Needs Group (UNG) is to address the needs of the customers of commercial mobile service (CMS) providers that voluntarily elect to transmit emergency alerts, particularly non-English speaking customers (see WARN Act Section 603(c)(4) and those with other special needs such as people with disabilities and the elderly. Thus, UNG will develop recommendations under which electing CMS providers may offer subscribers the capability of preventing the subscribers device from receiving emergency alerts, or classes of alerts, (other than an alert issued by the President), consistent with section 602(b)(2)(E) of the WARN Act. (WARN Act §603(c)(5)) • In its work, the UNG will review proposals by the other informal working groups as it relates to the needs of end users, particularly addressing both network and CPE issues. The UNG also will work with NIST on standards and technologies issues related to the delivery of alerts to people with special needs.
UNG Participants • CMSAAC participation: • City of New York (Leader) • T-Mobile (Deputy Leader) • Texas Association of Broadcasters • WGBH National Center for Accessible Media/Gallaudet University • FLASH • Mississippi Council on Aging • Poarch Band of Creek Indians • Onset Technology • Cingular/ATT • Association of Public Safety Communications Officials • NTI Group, Inc. • Maryland Relay-State of Maryland • Michigan Association of Broadcasters
UNG Issues Being Addressed • The UNG will develop recommendations under which electing CMS providers may offer subscribers the capability of preventing the subscribers device from receiving emergency alerts, or classes of alerts, (other than an alert issued by the President), consistent with section 602(b)(2)(E) of the WARN Act. (WARN Act §603(c)(5)) • The User Needs Group believes there will be a substantial number of users that would like to have the option of “partially” opting-out of the imminent threat class of alerts. • The UNG draft conclusions: • a capability of opting-out of all but the Presidential level messages • a capability of opting-out of all but the most extreme event warnings • a capability of opting-out of only AMBER Alert notifications
UNG Issues Being Addressed • Determine user categories for which recommendations will be made • Defining emergency message formats for special needs users (e.g., text, video, audio), basing its recommendations on the service profiles defined by the Communications Technology Group • UNG Draft Conclusions • Deaf/Hard of Hearing - Unique vibration attention signal for devices that provide a vibration signal. Unique audio attention signal should have more than one frequency, and not be very high frequency as hearing loss tends to be most prominent in the high frequencies. • Blind/Low Vision – No unique needs regarding attention signal. Speech version needed for blind people. High contrast display, don't use color to carry information, use sans serif font, adjustable size if possible
UNG Issues Being Addressed • UNG Draft Conclusions (Continued) • Cognitive - No unique needs regarding attention signal. Useful to have simple language, minimize abbreviations. Include most crucial info at the top. • Manual dexterity - No unique needs regarding attention signal. Minimize scrolling and manipulation. • Elderly - Combinations of disabilities are common in elderly persons. Unfamiliar behavior of the device could cause confusion in some- recommend to keep it simple • UNG draft conclusion for all categories of users- Do not require any special action to turn off alert. A familiar command like "hang up" or "end" is recommended.
UNG Issues Being Addressed • Making recommendations for a common “look and feel” for alerts, alerting controls, and provisioning mechanisms across electing service providers’ diverse technology platforms • The UNG draft conclusions: There should be a distinctive alert tone and vibrating cadence for CMA Messages. Common icons/symbols in black and white should be used where practical. This is not meant to limit the use of color, only that the color of the icons does not represent any needed information. • Making recommendations regarding subscriptions, control, notification, and presentation formats/mechanisms appropriate to the needs of various special needs users • Many features being discussed for CMAS support accessibility but some areas are unresolved. Recommend CTG review list and attempt to address the areas needing resolution. • Drafting the Consumer Notification that will be issued by non-electing service providers, electing service providers and partially electing service providers • The UNG will begin addressing this at our next Face to Face meeting. Group also considering consumer education needs.
UNG Issues Being Addressed • Use of Symbols/Icons to be displayed on the mobile device • Symbols considered for initiators only – not for event types • Symbols that are US-Specific – but risking making handsets too specific in the global market and risking no symbol adoption by US carriers or worse, declining to participate in CMAS • Roaming issues if symbols are US-specific – what will be displayed on roaming handsets that have no symbols embedded in the handset software • Symbols that are global – but that requires global standardization and could delay availability on handsets until standardization is complete • Symbols proposed (at least some) lose their detail and possibly meaning when reduced and displayed on a low contrast screen • Possible consideration of simple symbols such as a circle with a W for weather – but these would not come from a known standard set of symbols • What is the mechanism for instructing the mobile device to display the symbol and what is its interaction with text to speech software
UNG Issues Being Addressed • Work with other Working Groups in determining Use Cases • The UNG is considering applicable use cases • Evacuate • Shelter in place • All clear/never mind • Request for public assistance • Case examples • Sudden natural disaster (e.g., tornado) • Predicted natural disaster (e.g., hurricane) • Police event message (e.g., sniper suspect at large) • Man-made disaster message (e.g., nuclear accident) • Man-made infrastructure disaster (e.g., hazmat)