Blind 911 Tulsa Operator Benefiting From Technology


Wednesday, September 29th 2010, 7:08 pm
By: News On 6


By Rick Wells, The News On 6

TULSA, OKLAHOMA -- Diane Garrett is an emergency operator at Tulsa's 911 call center.

Garrett is blind, one of only a handful of sight-impaired emergency operators working anywhere. She has worked at the Tulsa 911 center for about eight years.

"This is my way of contributing to the city," she said.

Her boss says she's doing a terrific job, fielding calls and getting callers the help they need.

"And getting those life and death emergency calls in as quickly as possible," said Ken White.

In order to help her be a fully functioning employee, Diane brings her Braille note taker with her to work. When she goes to classes or meetings she can use it to take notes. It has a standard keyboard, but also has a Braille display.

"What I'm doing is going down to a folder in my email," she said. "There's times when I'm misunderstanding what I'm reading."

Garrett needed so she found a new non profit, called TechiePaws. They provide help to folks who have guide dogs. TechiePaws approved her request for a new note taker and say she should have it by the end of the year.