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TDI Emerges As A Powerful Force (1988 – 1997)

(1988) TDI reaches the 20-year milestone.

(1989) TDI and Sign Media, Inc. produce a TTY training tape, Using Your TTY/TDD. TDI unveils the new international TTY logo to designate locations of TTYs in public places. Instead of its eighth convention, TDI leads Technology Forums in the areas of captioning, 9-1-1, TRS and computers at Deaf Way, an international conference hosted by Gallaudet University at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC.

(1990) TDI and American Athletic Association of the Deaf present their Certificate of Appreciation to Senator McCain for his role in passing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

(1991) TDI helps the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) develop federal relay standards as defined by Title IV of the ADA. A new mission statement and bylaws were passed by the TDI Board at its ninth convention hosted by Deaf Community Services at the Omni Broadway Hotel in San Diego. TDI office moves to another location in Silver Spring.

(1992) TDI conducts a national poll that confirms TTY as the preferred acronym for text telephones over “TDD” (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) or “TT” (Text Telephone). TDI joins what is known today as the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Consumer Advocacy Network, a national coalition of consumer organizations serving people with deafness and hearing loss.

(1993) TDI receives NEC Foundation grant to begin developing TTY equipment standards. The tenth TDI Convention was hosted by the Alaska Association of the Deaf at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage.

(1994) Under a grant from DOJ, TDI develops TTY training kits, Emergency Access Self Evaluation (EASE), to train emergency dispatchers on how to recognize and handle incoming TTY calls at 9-1-1 centers. TDI supports Dr. Harry Lang to write a book on the history of the TTY. TDI attends international conference on text telephones in Rotterdam, Holland.

(1995) Reed Hundt, Chairman of the FCC was the keynote speaker at TDI’s 11th Convention, hosted by D.E.A.F., Inc. at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Boston, MA.

(1996) “Sonny” retires as Executive Director after nine years at TDI. Pam Holbrook, then Robert Weinstock, takes over as interim executive directors while the board searches for a permanent replacement.

(1997) Claude Stout becomes the current Executive Director. TDI participates in two forums to study analog TTY access to wireless 9-1-1 systems. The Missouri-Kansas Telecommunications for the Deaf, Inc. hosts the 12th Convention at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City. The convention drew 307 participants; including golfers who participated in the TDI Golf Classic fundraiser. TDI office settles in its present address in Silver Spring.