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CURRENT NEWS

The Public Service Commission Reports “Relay Utah” Calls For Deaf and Hard of Hearing Increasing by 2,000 Calls Per Month During the Holidays

 

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Utahns Count Relay Utah 7-1-1 Service

as Special Gift Especially During the Holidays

 

SALT LAKE CITY--December XX, 2003--Synonymous with holiday traditions like the pumpkin pie, fresh pine, and the sparkle of New Year’s Eve, is calling friends and family on the telephone—something that Utah’s deaf and hard of hearing communities are doing at an increasing rate according to the Public Service Commission.

 

The Public Service Commission has estimated that Utah’s 100,000 deaf and hard of hearing populations place on average 35,000 calls per month. In comparison, between the Thanksgiving and New Year’s Holidays this figure is estimated to climb to over 37,000 calls per month. The Relay Utah 7-1-1 service connects deaf, hard of hearing and speech-disabled Utahns using a text telephone (TTY), hearing carry over (HCO) phone or other device to communicate with hearing Utahns using standard voice telephones. 

 

Viola Schiefer, a Utah resident, hails Relay as a “blessing” to the hard of hearing community, their families and friends. “There are many times where family and friends need to get in touch and can’t because of the hearing problems,” says Schiefer.

 

Since she moved to Utah in 1996, Schiefer has found the Relay to be “second nature, I can handle my own needs and communicate with family and friends directly and independently.”

 

Relay users use this free service by dialing 7-1-1 to reach a Relay Communications Assistant (CA), who will connect the two parties and “relay” communication between the individual calling and the individual called. Relay Utah is also offered in Spanish by calling 888-346-3162.

 

About Relay Utah

Relay Service was established in following the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1988. Relay Utah is housed under the umbrella of the Public Service Commission and provides access to hearing assistant equipment and telephone relay services to connect standard telephones to text telephones used by Utah citizens who are dear, hard of hearing, or speech disabled. www.utahrelay.gov. Currently more than 35,000 Relay Utah calls are facilitated each month in Utah.

 

Press Contacts:

Stephanie Miller, Relay Utah Public Relations, 801-487-4800 x 107, smiller@ppbh.com

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Relay Utah Offers Spanish Relay Service for Utah’s

Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Speech Impaired

Service Provides Free “Relay” Telephone Translation Services for Hard of Hearing and Speech-Impaired Spanish-speaking Utahans

 

 

SALT LAKE CITY—June XX, 2003—Relay Utah introduces toll-free telephone translation services, “Spanish Relay,” for deaf, hard of hearing or speech-disabled Utahans who desire to communicate in Spanish.

 

Spanish Relay, available at 1-888-346-3162, is a recent addition to Relay Utah’s line of products and services designed especially for Utah’s hearing- and speech-impaired populations. Like standard Relay services, individuals who use text telephones (TTYs) wanting to use Spanish Relay can type in Spanish and the conversation will be relayed in either Spanish or English to the party called by a Sprint Communications Assistant (CA).

 

“We are committed to promoting communication independence and see this latest enhancement to provide Utahans with a choice to communicate in the language they prefer and feel most comfortable as a reinforcement of this commitment,” said Kristylynne Brady, telecommunications specialist for Relay Utah.

 

Future language translation services, offered by Relay Utah, will be determined by The Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

 

Relay Utah’s translation services are available across the entire state. More than 35,000 Relay Utah calls are made through Relay’s toll-free 7-1-1 and Spanish language number each month by Utah’s estimated 100,000 deaf and hard of hearing.

 

About Relay Utah

Utah was was one of the first states to establish a relay service, Relay Utah was made available on Jan. 4, 1998. Relay Utah is housed under the umbrella of the Public Service Commission and provides access to hearing assistive equipment and telephone relay services to connect standard telephones to text telephones used by Utah citizens who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech disabled. www.connectutah.com.

###

Press Contacts:

Stephanie Miller, Relay Utah Public Relations, 801-487-4800 x107, smiller@ppch.com

Kristylynne Brady, Relay Utah, 801-530-6638, klbrady@utah.gov

 

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What is Video Relay Service?

Video Relay Service or VRS makes it possible for the deaf to communicate in American Sign Language with a hearing individual. Using a high speed Internet connection and a video camera, an individual using ASL contacts a Communications Assistant who can view the individual who is signing. The communication assistant then interprets the sign language and relays, by voice, the message being signed to the hearing party.

 

Who Provides Video Relay Service?

  • MCI, Hamilton Relay, AT&T, and Sprint offer video relay service through a computer and high speed Internet. 
  • Sorenson Video Relay Service allows people to use their television set allowing a larger, crisper image.  Sprint and Hamilton Relay have adopted the Sorenson technology and added it to their video relay service.

 

How Do I Use Video Relay Service?

Any deaf person can call the relay center using the VRS software and high-speed Internet connection. A deaf caller connects to the communications assistant and provides him/her with the phone number of the person they’d like to contact. The deaf caller then signs to the interpreter through a camera and the interpreter translates, in real time, the message to the hearing party. The interpreter then signs the response of the hearing caller back to the deaf caller.

 

How Is Video Relay Service Different From 7-1-1?

7-1-1 is a toll free number that connects a text telephone (TTY) with a hearing caller using a standard voice telephone. The “relay” part of the call happens just like the Video Relay call but the operator does not see the person signing s/he instead reads the text message to the hearing caller and then types the hearing caller’s message back to the TTY user.

 

Is There A Cost To Use The Video Relay Service?

Currently there is no cost for VRS except for the cost of the high-speed Internet.  The software that is required for the computer VRS is NetMeeting that is included in Windows 95 and above, and the Sorenson software in included in the video phone.  The web cams and video phones are given out free to deaf individuals who have high-speed Internet connections from the VRS providers.

 

How can people get more information on the Relay Services?

Call Kristylynne Brady at (801) 530-6638 (v/tty) or dial 7-1-1 from any phone to be connected directly to the Relay Service.

 

 

Facts About Utah’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing

·         There are more than 220,000 deaf and hard of hearing Utahans

  • Relay Utah fields 30,000-35,000 calls per month
  • The Relay Service is available for both English and Spanish languages
  • American Sign Language is the first language of the deaf. English is the second.
  • The Relay Service can be used to make calls both within the United States and internationally

 

About Relay Utah

Relay Service was established following the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. Relay Utah is housed under the umbrella of the Public Service Commission and provides access to hearing assistive equipment and telephone relay services to connect standard telephones to text telephones used by Utah citizens who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech disabled. www.relayutah.gov.

                                                                        * * *  

At 84, Deaf Utahan Adds to List Of Firsts—

Deaf Center is First Utah Government Building to Be Named Honoring Deaf Individual

New Moniker Honors Utah’s “Father of Adult Deaf Services,” Robert G. Sanderson

 

SALT LAKE CITY – October 4, 2003 – With a long list of firsts to claim—first deaf professional hired by the State Board of Education, first deaf individual to earn a Ed.D. from BYU, first deaf coordinator of services for the Adult Deaf in the Department of Public Instruction—Dr. Robert G. Sanderson was honored with yet another first today.  Amid 500 white helium balloons, spotlights, and VIPs from around the nation joining in a “we honor” sign language tribute, Utah’s Deaf Center, housed in a government building, received his name.

 

The center was renamed to recognize the contributions 84-year-old Sanderson, also known as the Father of Adult Deaf Services, has made for Utah’s deaf and hard of hearing community—now numbering more than 220,000. The center, located in Taylorsville, originally opened its doors in 1992 as the Community Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (UCCDHH).

 

“One hundred years ago, deaf people were not even allowed to marry or get a drivers license,” said Marilyn Call, director, Division of Services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. “Tonight’s renaming of this community center after a deaf individual is monumental. It is only because of the perseverance of deaf leaders like Dr. Sanderson lobbying for this center for 46 years, lobbying for the relay system, and interpreters that these services are available today. We need this Center, we need this name and event to inspire gratitude for generations to come.”

 

The Sanderson Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing provides activities, communication assistive equipment for deaf and hard-of-hearing youth and adults, and is a venue for gathering, networking and socializing. The center also provides training to counselors, transition specialists, educators, disability resource offices and employers along the Wasatch Front. 

 

An advocate and crusader for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, Sanderson was instrumental in the creation of the UCCDHH through lobbing in the 1980s and served as the Center’s first director when it was housed in a donated church building in Bountiful.  Many additional services that are now available for the deaf and hard of hearing stem from Sanderson’s contributions including:

·        First coordinator of services to the Adult Deaf in the Department of Public Instruction, 1965. It was in this capacity he earned the title of Father of Adult Deaf Services;

·        First hard of hearing professional hired by the State Board of Education, paving the way for future deaf individuals; and

·        Successfully lobbied for Relay Utah 7-1-1 voice/text translation service, one of the nation’s first, established in 1988 and now managed by the Public Service Commission (PSC).

 

Sanderson’s educational accomplishments include:

·        Graduated from Gallaudet University, the nation’s only higher education deaf institution, with a bachelor’s degree, 1941;

·        Earned a master’s degree in educational administration from California State University Northridge, 1965; and

·        Was the first deaf individual to receive a doctorate in education from Brigham Young University, 1974.

 

                                                                        * * *

 

About The Robert G. Sanderson Community Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

The Center opened its doors 1992 as the Utah Community Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The center also provides training to counselors, transition specialists, educators, disability resource offices and employers along the Wasatch Front. It is also a core resource for Utah’s 20,000 deaf and 200,000 hard of hearing and their families and friends. Services it provides include networking and socializing opportunities and access to hearing assistive equipment to help individuals with hearing loss communicate independently. 5709 S. 1500 W. Taylorsville, Utah 84123. www.deafservices.utah.gov.

 

About Relay Utah

After the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1988, Utah was one of the first states to establish a relay service with its creation of Relay Utah on January 4, 1988. Relay Utah, www.relayutah.gov, works under the Public Service Commission to provide access to hearing assisted equipment and telephone relay services. Relay Utah’s 7-1-1 is a toll free number that connects a caller to a Relay operator who will connect you to someone using a TTY or Voice Carry Over (VCO) phone or help a hard or hearing or speech-impaired caller connect to a hearing person who has a standard telephone.

 

# # #

 

Media Contacts: Marilyn Call, Robert G. Sanderson Community Center of Deaf and Hard of Hearing,

                           cell: 801.971.3047, marilyncall@utah.gov

Lynnette Johnson, Robert G. Sorensen Community Center, cell: 801.263.4860 or lynnettejohnson@utah.gov

                           Kristylynne Brady, Relay Utah, cell: 801.230.7085 or klbrady@utah.gov

 

Relay Utah

Fact Sheet

 

Organization History:            The Relay Utah service was initiated in 1988 as one of the first Relay services established in the United States. Housed under the umbrella of the Public Service Commission, Relay Utah provides access to hearing assistive equipment and telephone relay services through Sprint to allow Utah citizens who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech disabled more efficient communication.

 

Purpose:                                             More than 100,000 Utahns are either deaf or hard of hearing. Relay Utah strives to make it possible for these individuals and those who have difficulty with speech to independently communicate with each other and with the hearing community. Over 35,000 calls are made through Relay Utah every month.

 

7-1-1:                                                  7-1-1 is Utah’s toll-free telephone number that connects voice telephone users with deaf, hard of hearing or speech-disabled individuals who use text telephones, or TTYs. Relay users can use this free service by dialing 7-1-1 to reach a Relay Communications Assistant (CA), who will connect the two parties and “relay” communication between the individual calling and the individual called.

 

Spanish Relay:            Individuals who use text telephones and desire to communicate in Spanish can dial Relay Utah and inform the CA of their preferred message translation. The CA will relay the conversation in the preferred translation, including Spanish-to-Spanish, Spanish-to-English or English-to-Spanish.

 

Products for the Hearing

Impaired:

Hearing Carry-Over (HCO)/

VCO                                        The Hearing Carry-Over (HCO), Voice Carry-Over (VCO) is a specific combination of telephone for households that have people who are both hard of hearing and those who experience no hearing loss. With VCO, someone who is hard of hearing can speak directly to the other person and read their responses on the text display.

 

For individuals who can hear but who are speech disabled, they can use HCO and type their messages into the text device, which are relayed by a CA to the other party. The HCO user can then hear the other person’s responses. If the other person is also using HCO, the caller can dial Relay Utah and have a CA voice his or her responses.

 

 

 

CapTel            The CapTel is a telecommunications device that will be introduced in the fall of 2003 and is ideal for individuals who experience some degree of hearing loss but still prefer to have a standard telephone conversation.

 

                                                            The CapTel includes a text display where the user has the option to read a captioned version of the conversation. With CapTel’s voice-recognition capability, captions appear in real-time as words are spoken. The CapTel includes an amplified handset and tone control to maximize clarity.

 

Products for the Deaf and

Those with Speech Difficulty:           

Text Telephones            Text telephones, or TTYs as they are commonly referred to, are one of the more popular telecommunications devices on the market.

 

If a hearing person desires to communicate with someone who does not hear, the person who hears can dial 7-1-1 and reach a CA, who then relays the information given back and forth between each party.

 

Video Relay Service (VRS)            Video Relay Service, or VRS, is one of the newest tools available to enhance communication between American Sign Language (ASL) and voice telephone users. Utahans have a choice between two companies that provide VRS services, Sprint and Sorenson Media. Both companies use a high-speed Internet connection, an Internet camera, and a sign language interpreter to translate the message. The interpreter voices what the individual is signing to the other party. Information on Sprint’s VRS can be found at www.utvrs.com, and information on Sorenson Media’s VRS at www.sorensonvrs.com.

 

With VRS, visual communication accompanies the voice communication, so both parties enjoy full interaction as emotions and facial expressions are conveyed.

 

Equipment Eligibility:            Individuals who qualify for Public Assistance and who meet specified guidelines are eligible for Relay equipment. For guidelines, visit www.connectutah.com or www.relayutah.gov. Others looking to purchase Relay equipment can contact the Utah Deaf Center. All workers at the UAD bookstore are deaf. Callers can dial 7-1-1 and then the number 801-288-2159.

 

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How Does Relay Utah Work?
1. Dial, toll free, either 7-1-1 or the Spanish Relay number 1-888-346-3162 to be connected to a Relay operator who will connect the hearing caller to someone using a text telephone (TTY) or Voice Carry Over (VCO) phone or help a hard or hearing or speech-impaired caller connect to a hearing person using a standard telephone.
 
2. The operator will "relay" the conversation back and forth between the party with hearing or speech difficulty and the hearing party to facilitate the call. A TTY user will type a message that will be read by the Relay operator to the hearing person who will in turn voice a response that the Relay operator will translate into a typed message to the person using a TTY. There is no time limit on the calls.
 
About Relay Utah
Utah was one of the first states to establish a relay service, Relay Utah was made available on Jan. 4, 1998. Relay Utah is housed under the umbrella of the Public Service Commission and provides access to hearing assistive equipment and telephone relay services to connect standard telephones to text telephones used by Utah citizens who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech disabled. www.relayutah.gov.

 
 

EVENT CALENDAR
All events are held at the Robert G. Sanderson Community Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SCCDHH)
5709 South 1500 West, Salt Lake City.

For more information on scheduled activities contact:
Mitch Moyers - 801-263-4887 (V) or 801-263-4895 (TTY)

February  2004

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Beginning ASL Class 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm Intermediate Class (ASL) 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm  Beginning ASL Class 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm        
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Beginning ASL Class 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm Intermediate Class (ASL) 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm Beginning ASL Class 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm Circle of Friends      

Deaf Connections Day For Deaf and hard of hearing Kids 10 am - 2 pm

15 16 17 18 19 20 21
Beginning ASL Class 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm Free Legal Aid     4:30 pm - 7:00 pm 

Intermediate Class (ASL) 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Beginning ASL Class 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

 

SHHH Meeting    7:00 pm

 

 
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
Beginning ASL Class 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm Intermediate Class (ASL) 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm Beginning ASL Class 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

 

 
29            
 

 

 

January  2004

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
New Years Day

SCCDHH CLosed

 
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Beginning ASL Class First Day of Class 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

 

Intermediate Class (ASL) First Day of Class 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

 

Beginning ASL Class 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

 

11 12 13 14 15 16 17
 

 

Intermediate Class (ASL) 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

 

Beginning ASL Class 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

 

 
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Martin Luther King Jr Day

SCCDHH Closed

Beginning ASL Class 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

 

Intermediate Class (ASL) 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

 

Beginning ASL Class 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

 

 
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Beginning ASL Class 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

 

Intermediate Class (ASL) 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

 

Beginning ASL Class 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm