|Federal Communications Commission
1919 - M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
|News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).
FCC TO HOLD DEMONSTRATION OF SPEECH-TO-SPEECH RELAY SERVICES THAT
EXPAND ACCESS TO THE VOICE TELEPHONE NETWORK
The Federal Communications Commission will hold a demonstration on Thursday, February 19,
1998 at 9:30 a.m. in the Commission Meeting Room (Room 856, 1919 M Street, N.W.) in conjunction
with its February Open Commission meeting. This event is open to the public. Sign language
interpreters and live-time captioning will be provided.|
At the demonstration, Bob Segalman, Ph.D. will demonstrate a new Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) called Speech-to-Speech Relay. Segalman, Consultant on Speech-to-Speech to the California Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program, will place a call to the California Speech- to-Speech Center. The call will be "relayed" through a trained speech interpreter between Segalman (who has a speech disability) and a regular voice telephone user.
The Commission has helped implement the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by ensuring that Americans with hearing and speech disabilities have access to standard telephone service through use of Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS). TRS provides access to the voice telephone network for Americans with hearing and speech disabilities. Traditionally, TRS centers provide specialized staff and equipment to relay telephone conversations between voice telephone users and persons who use text telephones (TTYs). Speech-to-Speech is a new kind of TRS that allows persons with severe speech disabilities to speak on the telephone, to be heard by the person being called and, with the assistance of trained communications assistant relaying the conversation, to be understood. To keep pace with the technological advances in TRS, in January 1997, the Commission released a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) on TRS seeking comment on the new technologies and their potential to improve the quality of TRS. This NOI specifically asked questions regarding Speech-to-Speech.
Required by Title IV of the ADA, TRS is currently offered 24 hours a day, seven days a week in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Speech-to-Speech TRS is currently offered in California, Maryland, and Wisconsin. The Commission places a high priority on its oversight of the TRS program, which is one of the fastest-growing segments of the telecommunications industry.
For further information, please contact Pam Gregory at (202) 418-2498 voice; (202) 418- 0484 (TTY); (202) 418-2644 fax; or E-mail: email@example.com.