Video Relay Services - Access by Telephone for Individual with Hearing Loss


Video Relay Service
How it works

An individual who communicates by American Sign Language, or another mode of manual communication, such as Signing Exact English, Contact sign contact signing (Pidgin Signed English)], Cued Speech, or Linguistics of Visual English, uses a videophone or other video device, such as a webcam, to connect via broadband Internet to a Video Relay Service.

1- The caller is routed to a sign language interpreter, known as a Video Interpreter (VI). The VI is in front of a camera or videophone.
2- The video user gives the VI a voice number to dial, as well as any special dialing instructions.
3- The VI places the call and interprets as a neutral, non-participating third party. Anything that the audio user says is signed to the video user, and anything signed by the video user is spoken to the audio user.
4- Once the call is over, the caller can make another call(s) or hang up with the interpreter.
5- The company that provides the interpreter services, will then collect funds from the FCC.

Hearing people can contact a Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, or Speech-Disabled person via VRS. To initiate a call, the hearing person calls the VRS, and is connected to a video interpreter who then contacts the video user.

Some VRS services also offer:
* Voice Carry Over: The video user may use his/her own voice instead of the interpreter speaking;
* Hearing Carry Over: the video user may listen for him/herself instead of relying on the interpreter;
* Language Preference: The video user requests that the interpreter use American Sign Language;
* the ability to connect to a sign language interpreter who can interpret into another language.

Service Providers
The person using sign language to communicate must get the right equipment, but the equipment is provided at no cost to you. You must pay a service provider to have a high speed internet connection. There are no charges associated with the phone call for either the person using the service to communicate or the person receiving the phone call.

Video Relay Service providers in the United States:

VRS Provider Website IP Address/Phone number for VP or others Phone Number for Hearing
AT&T, Inc.  
Birnbaum Interpreting Services  
Communication Access for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc.  
CSDVRS, LLC OR for VRS en Español 888-888-1116 (also for VPs)
Gracias VRS  
Hawk Relay  
InterWest Relay 866-258-1163
LifeLinks LLC 888-744-6526
Nordia, Inc. (Nordia VRS)  
Purple Communications, Inc (Espanol)  
Snap Telecommunications, Inc.  
Sorenson VRS OR (Espanol de su VP 200) 866-327-8877
Sprint Nextel, Corp.  
URrelay Inc VRS  
Viable, Inc. & (VRS en Español  

Last Review and Update: Jul 09, 2009
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