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Relay Texas

Internet & Video Relay

Internet Relay Service

Computer users can reach relay services by simply connecting to an Internet relay service website; no special modem and software are needed. After connecting to the website of your choice, the user is given instructions regarding how to continue in order to complete a call.

Previously, hearing users were not able to make calls to IP users; however, with the advent of local ten digit number assignments (L10DN) to IP users, hearing callers can now initiate calls to IP users by dialing the individuals' L10DN.

There are several Internet Relay providers that are listed at the following links:

For more information and links to participating providers, please visit: http://www.tdi-online.org/tdi/fs_relayservices.asp

Video Relay Service (VRS)

How VRS Works

Video Relay Service (VRS) is a type of Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) that allows individuals with hearing or speech loss who use sign language to communicate to use video conference equipment (web cameras or video phone products), to speak to individuals using a standard telephone.

The VRS call proceeds in the following manner:

  • The VRS user connects to a Video Interpreter (VI - an interpreter who works for a VRS provider). The user and the VI can see each other on video conference equipment giving them the ability to sign to each other;
  • The VRS user gives the VI a phone number of a hearing person;
  • The VI places a telephone call to the hearing party;
  • The VI talks to the called hearing party informing them that a person with hearing or speech impairment has initiated the call. The VI also provides the called hearing person with a brief description of call procedures if the called party is unfamiliar with VRS telephone calls;
  • The VI relays the conversation back and forth between the parties, thereby providing a telephone interpreting service between a hearing impaired user and the hearing party.

A standard telephone user can also initiate a VRS call by calling a VRS center, usually through a toll-free number, by dialing the VRS user's local 10 digit number. VRS is very popular with individuals who use sign language because the conversation between the VRS user and the VI flows much more quickly than with a text-based TRS call. Unlike text-based relay services, a VI is able to express the mood of both parties; interpreting the mood of a hearing person in sign language, and voicing the mood of a signing person. Consequently, VRS is much more like a normal telephone conversation where the emotions of each party are readily identified by inflections of the voice, etc.

The VRS VI can be reached through the VRS provider's Internet site (web camera and computer), or through video equipment attached to a television. (see the list below.) Like all TRS calls, VRS is free to the caller. VRS providers are compensated for their costs from the Interstate TRS Fund, which the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) oversees.

Here is the list of VRS providers:

Information about VRS