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DDTP First In Nation To Provide Visually Assisted Speech-To-Speech Service – 5/1/12

On May 1, 2012, the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program, part of the California Public Utilities Commission, will launch Visually Assisted Speech-to-Speech (VA STS), a new technology that can enhance the relay experience of individuals with a speech disability.

How does Visually Assisted Speech-To-Speech work?
In addition to a phone call to the relay service, the Speech-to-Speech (STS) caller will also use a webcam or videophone with Skype to connect with the communications assistant at the relay call center. This will allow the communications assistant to see the Speech-to-Speech user as they are speaking. Seeing the caller’s mouth movements, facial expressions, and gestures will enable the communications assistant to better understand and re-voice for the caller. Users of augmentative and alternative communication devices can also share the information they are typing via Skype using computer emulation. Special equipment and an Internet service to access the video service are required to make a call, but are not provided by the CRS.

How do I get started?
If you are curious about this new service, contact one of the California Relay Service providers’ Speech-to-Speech training lines.
Hamilton Relay: 1-877-632-9095, ask for the Speech-to-Speech (STS) training line (available 24/7);
AT&T Relay: 1-866-288-1909 CA STS customer service (available 24/7), or 1-866-844-2626 CA STS user training line (available M-F, 9am-5pm, or by appointment);
Or visit the website at: www.ddtp.org, and look for “VA STS” in the news section.

Posted on May 7th, 2012