TDI is pleased to share the news from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that they have launched a new support center where you can call them directly on your video phone and talk directly with the staff using sign language.
“The FCC is the most inclusive government agency that serve all Americans, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing,” said Claude Stout, Executive Director of Telecommunications for the Deaf, Inc. Claude adds, “This new service will empower us to interact directly with officials and help them understand our needs in a way that is not possible with other methods of communication.”
Here are some of the things you can do:
- File brief comments or informal complaints on various proceedings that affect your ability to communicate such as:
- Captioning of Television Programming Online
- Text to 9-1-1 Deployment
- Captioning Quality Order
- VRS Reform
- and many other topics.
- Gather information on the following topics such as:
- Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS)
- Access to Telecommunications and Advanced Communications Services (ACS) and equipment by persons with disabilities
- Access to emergency information
- Closed captioning.
- General consumer issues such as phone slamming (unauthorized charges on your bills), Do-Not-Call telemarketing violations, broadband access, as well as other FCC programs and services.
Go ahead! Give them a call on your videophone at 844-4-FCC-ASL (844-432-2275)! Their hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m, Eastern time (7:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Pacific time) Mondays through Fridays except holidays.
FCC LAUNCHES DIRECT VIDEO COMMUNICATIONS ACCESS
FOR CONSUMERS WHO ARE
DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING
Disability Rights Office Provides New Way for Consumers Using Sign Language to Communicate about Essential Issues.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has unveiled a new type of support service specifically designed for consumers who are deaf and hard of hearing to communicate in their primary language, American Sign Language (ASL). The “ASL Consumer Support Line,” announced by Chairman Tom Wheeler at the recent M-Enabling Summit, allows deaf and hard of hearing consumers to engage in a direct, interactive video call with a consumer specialist at the FCC who can provide assistance in ASL for filing informal complaints or obtaining consumer information.
The direct ASL video concept was first conceived by FCC staff members in the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau’s Disability Rights Office who have observed that direct access to communication, rather than through intermediaries such as interpreters or video relay service (VRS), provide greater autonomy to the consumers. This direct video access will allow consumers who are deaf and hard of hearing to communicate in their native language, ASL, with ease and confidence that their messages are being delivered in an exact manner. Now, direct video access to the FCC has finally become a reality for deaf and hard of hearing consumers who communicate primarily in ASL
We believe the new service will be highly preferred to VRS and to filing written complaints through the FCC’s website because of the difficulty in trying to convey the complexity of complaints for disability-related issues.
Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing can use the ASL Consumer Support Line by calling 844-4-FCC-ASL (844-432-2275) or 202-810-0444 on video phone. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Eastern Time), Monday through Friday.
You can watch an ASL web video about the ASL Consumer Support Line at //www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/disability-rights-office.
With the launch of the ASL Consumer Support Line, the FCC is paving the way for direct and easy access to connect with the FCC for consumers who communicate in ASL.
About Video Relay Service (VRS): VRS allows persons who are deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing and have speech disabilities to use ASL to communicate in near real time through a communications assistant , via video over a broadband Internet connection. The CA, serving as a communication conduit, relays messages from ASL to spoken English and vice versa for a call between a video caller who communicates in ASL and a voice telephone user.
About the Disability Rights Office (DRO): DRO addresses disability-related telecommunications matters, including but not limited to: Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS); access to telecommunications and advanced communications equipment and services by persons with disabilities; access to emergency information; and closed captioning. For more information about DRO, visit: //www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/disability-rights-office
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