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New Era for TDI (1978 – 1987)

(1978) Breunig retires as TDI moves to suburban Maryland in Silver Spring. A new logo was approved.

(1979) The third TDI convention was hosted by Georgia Telecommunications for the Deaf at the Century Center Hotel in Atlanta. TDI Board changes name to Telecommunications for the Deaf, Inc. Barry Strassler becomes the new Executive Director.

(1980) TDI administers DEAFNET contract in Washington, DC area as TDI agents become trained in installing TeleCaption decoders from the National Captioning Institute (NCI). Eight more chapters join TDI.

(1981) TDI chapters mushroom when 17 join. Missouri-Kansas Telecommunica­tions for the Deaf, Inc. hosted the fourth TDI Convention at the Glenwood Manor in Overland Park, Kansas.

(1982) Two more chapters join as TDI begins to sell NCI TeleCaption decoders and TV sets at reduced rates. TDI works with United States Independent Telephone Association to serve TTY users in non-Bell areas.

(1983) Four more chapters join as TDI receives recognition from NCI as the top organizational seller of TeleCaption decoders. TDI works with Amateur Radio Research & Development Corp. implementing the HEX computer bulletin board system. TDI collaborates with Electronic Industries Association to develop TTY technical and compatibility standards. TDI holds its fifth Convention hosted by the Delaware Valley Telecommunications for the Deaf, Inc. at the Centre Hotel in Philadelphia.

(1984) Thomas Mentkowski becomes new Executive Direc­tor. TDI conducts joint study with Gallaudet Research Institute and counts approximately 100,000 Baudot TTYs in use compared with five million ASCII comput­ers that are not compatible with according to the US Architectural and Transportation Barrier Compliance Board (US Access Board).

(1985) Nevada Association of the Deaf hosts the sixth TDI Convention at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

(1987) Al Sonnenstrahl becomes the next Executive Director as TDI’s goals were reassessed to include: advocacy for accessible telecommunications and increased captioning; updating TTY standards from Baudot to ASCII; evaluation standards for TTYs and other assistive devices; ensure compatibility between programs, consumers and manufacturers. New York/New Jersey Phone-TTY, Inc. once again hosts the seventh TDI Convention at the Meadowlands Hilton Hotel in Secaucus, New Jersey. One highlight of this convention was the exhibit of old and “orphan” TTY’s on display.