Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Video Relay Service

I just had a wonderful conversation with my Aunt, who happens to be deaf. Sometimes it can be a bit difficult to talk with her via phone or even in person since sign language doesn't easily translate into regular correct / proper english with all the phonics rules we use everyday and take for granted. Unfortunately sometimes written or typed out conversations between the hearing and deaf sound a bit unclear when read and can sometimes cause some miscommunications.

Anyways my uncle told me about this Video Relay Service by a company called Sorenson VRS. The company is similar to public local phone services like the Ohio Relay Service, where the hearing person calls a 1-800 number and the relay person types the conversation via a Text Telephone (TTY) to the deaf individual who types back.

With the VRS, I called a toll free number and talked just like a regular conversation, the relay service person physically signed what I said to my aunt via a video camera on a computer and my aunt signed back via computer. There was no miscommunication via the language translation and it was more like a regular phone conversation. It was so wonderful!

It's so great that with all the new technology out there that we can make communication with the deaf community more seemless!


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